The death of three personnel from the Philippine Air Force (PAF) just last Friday has made the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) rethink their use of concrete barriers on EDSA to separate private vehicles from the lane of public utility buses.

At 1:59 AM on February 18, 2022, a vehicle carrying four members of the PAF slammed into the concrete barrier on EDSA along the P. Tuazon tunnel in Barangay Bagong Lipunan ng Crame, Quezon City. Three died. The driver survived but was found to have too much alcohol in his system after a breathalyzer test.

In a briefing yesterday (February 21), the MMDA announced that they are considering the use of safer materials instead of the concrete barriers on EDSA to prevent death or serious injuries in the event of a collision. The agency also plans to put up more safety signs.

MMDA studies bollards in lieu of concrete barriers on EDSA image

According to MMDA Officer-in-Charge, General Manager Romando Artes, EDSA is well lit and 90% of concrete barrier crashes involved drunk, distracted motorists, and drivers who have fallen asleep.

“Inaaral po natin iyong paglalagay ng bollard, instead of concrete barriers at lalo na dadagdagan pa po natin siguro iyong mga (We are studying the possibility of using bollards instead of concrete barriers and to increase) safety signs,” Artes said.

When asked about the orange plastic barriers, Artes noted that these are made of lightweight materials and can easily be displaced.

MMDA studies bollards in lieu of concrete barriers on EDSA image

“Ganundin po kapag nagkaroon ng tubig, medyo lumulutang din po siya at ganundin po kapag mayroong gustong sumingit at pumasok sa lane madali po siyang natatanggal. So, nadi-defeat po iyong purpose ng pagiging exclusive nitong ating (It’s the same when there’s water. It floats and it easily gets pushed when someone tries to enter the lane. It defeats the purpose of exclusivity of the) bus lanes,” Artes added.

While the aim is to made EDSA safer for all motorists, the MMDA still wants to ensure the exclusivity of the bus lane regardless of the new materials used to replace the concrete barriers.

At least 437 concrete barrier-related accidents have occurred since 2020.