The provincial bus ban along EDSA has been a delicate subject lately. There have even been calls to junk the move altogether. In fact, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda has filed a petition to stop the implementation of the said ban.
However, the MMDA isn't backing down. In fact, they will take the matter to court.
MMDA EDSA traffic chief Edison “Bong” Nebrija said that, while he respects Salceda's petition, he had this to say: “The MMDA will wait for our copy being named as respondent in the said petition and we will let our legal team draft and file the rebuttal".
Nebrija, along with the MMDA, is determined to push through the provincial bus ban along EDSA. The traffic chief has yet to tell the press what their rebuttal will be like. However, he said that the agency will continue to conduct its public information drive on the policy, according to the Philippine News Agency.
For now, the full implementation of MMDA's ban has been suspended. That said, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia clarified that the enforcement of no loading and unloading along EDSA for provincial buses will remain in effect. Should it push through, those traveling out of Metro Manila will have to go to the designated terminals in the outskirts of the metropolis, or other stations such as the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX). Soon to open, however, are terminal exchanges in Valenzuela City, Valenzuela, as well as another one in Santa Rosa, Laguna.
Not long after announcing the ban, there were some vocally opposed to the plan. The congressman who filed the petition, Salceda, said that the move was 'anti-poor'. He added that it's the city buses and private vehicles that are the root of heavy congestion along EDSA, not provincial buses. Garcia countered that by saying it is the provincial buses and its terminals, that cause the gridlocks.
The MMDA says that over 3,000 provincial buses pass through Metro Manila each day. The agency is also looking to remove all 47 bus terminals along EDSA in hopes to improve traffic flow on the busy thoroughfare.