The MMDA suspended the implementation of the provincial bus ban on EDSA to hold further consultations with the riding public and other stakeholders.
Joven Cagande/File
SC resets deliberation on EDSA bus ban
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - June 6, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has deferred its ruling on two petitions that sought to stop the policy of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) banning provincial buses along EDSA.

The petitions filed by AKO Bicol party-list Representatives Ronald Ang and Alfredo Garbin Jr. and Albay Rep. Joey Salceda were included in the agenda of the SC justices when they resumed session on Tuesday after a two-month break.

But the SC magistrates opted to defer action on the case and instead reset the deliberations to June 25.

A source, who requested anonymity, said the SC justices did not see the urgency to act on the petitions filed by the Bicol lawmakers on April 29 and May 27.

The petitioners sought the issuance of a temporary restraining order that would stop the implementation of the MMDA’s Regulation No. 19-002.

The MMDA suspended the implementation of the provincial bus ban on EDSA to hold further consultations with the riding public and other stakeholders.

The MMDA has yet to set the date when the ban will be enforced.

The petitions sought to strike down the assailed measure, which the MMDA and Metro Manila Council, policy-making body of the agency, approved to ease traffic congestion along the busiest thoroughfare in the metropolis.

The lawmakers argued that the MMDA overstepped the boundary of its power in issuing the regulation, saying the agency has neither police or legislative powers to prohibit the issuance of permits to bus terminals along EDSA.

The petitioners noted that police power is a legislative act, which means the ban on provincial buses and closure of bus terminals along EDSA required enactment of ordinances by local government units under the Local Government Code of 1991.

Thousands of commuters will be affected the MMDA policy, according to the lawmakers.

They told the high court that the ban on provincial buses was an unwarranted encroachment of the authority of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to issue, amend and revoke certificates of public convenience to public utility vehicles.

They further argued that the planned closure of provincial bus terminals on EDSA is in violation of Public Service Act and related laws that require bus operators to maintain their own terminals as requisite for their franchises.

Salceda said banning provincial buses will not solve traffic jams along EDSA.

Citing the 2017 figures of the MMDA, the petitioners said more than 247,000 private vehicles, 12,000 city buses and only around 3,300 provincial buses pass along EDSA daily.

BUS BAN EDSA
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