We cannot imagine how tough the job is of Edison “Bong” Nebrija and the many traffic enforcers of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
As the top man tasked to clean up the flow of traffic Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA), a critical job for the economy, he and his crew have taken a no-nonsense approach to their job, particularly when it comes to enforcing the yellow bus lanes.
Nebrija and company first strictly enforced the rules regarding the two yellow bus lanes that are for the exclusive use of city buses in March, and the result was better general traffic flow. The stricter implementation also resulted in the revelation that there were supposedly far too many city buses plying EDSA, as shown by the many empty buses at that time.
Very recently, however, the MMDA's Nebrija posted a video on his social media page while he and the team were enforcing the bus lane on a section of EDSA. It shows that while buses were stuck as they were properly herded into the yellow lanes, passengers aboard one bus decided to show their discontent at the MMDA's enforcement, saying that they were going to be late for their appointments or jobs.
Nebrija retorted they should have departed earlier than they did to account for the traffic.
“This is what it really is like. Our enforcers get yelled at as if we were wrong,” narrated Nebrija in Filipino. “We are implementing the law, yet we are the ones that get yelled at”
What really got our attention (and what really irked Nebrija) was when one passenger went so far as to tell the EDSA traffic boss that they pay his (Nebrija's) salary. The visibly furious Nebrija challenged the passenger, and asked him how much taxes does he pays.
“They dare tell us that they pay our salaries, then they should be thankful we're doing our jobs,” continued Nebrija's narration in Filipino.
Nebrija's video is indicative of the general behavior of bus drivers on EDSA that go where they please and overtake at will without regard for rules or proper lanes depending the type of buses.
"If there is discipline, we will move forward," continued Nebrija.
Many have commented that the rules of EDSA are skewed in favor of private drivers regarding the bus lanes, but the MMDA has already started sending out notices under their No-Contact Apprehension program to private motor vehicle owners. Using CCTV cameras, the MMDA spots vehicles encroaching into the yellow bus lanes without any intersection nearby. It may seem like motorists get off scot free, but eventually the owner of the vehicle will get a notice about their violation.