Members of the Philippine Senate have expressed disapproval at the suggestion of Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Danilo Lim to study adding another day to the Universal Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP).
Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero has asked the MMDA to focus their full effort on the total removal of 'colorum' (illegally operating) buses on EDSA in order to speed up vehicular flow.
“Ang panawagan ko sa MMDA, pwede bang una nilang gawin, tanggalin lahat ng kolorum na bus sa EDSA na hanggang ngayon ay namamayagpag at tumatakbo pa rin,” said Escudero.
[My appeal to the MMDA is that they first remove all colorum buses along EDSA because until today they continue to reign and ply (our roads).]
Escudero asked the MMDA to investigate ownership of these colorum buses to determine if the reason they continue to get away with operating even with this franchise violation is because they are owned by former officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP).
“Iyun pala ang nagpapasikip talaga karamihan kolorum. So simulan natin sa pagtanggal ng kolorum. Dati na namang bawal iyan. Dati nang iligal. At dati nang may kumikita diyan. Alisin natin iyun dahil hindi pa nagagawa iyun,” added Escudero.
[The (colorum buses) are what make it (roads) congested. So let’s start by removing colorum (buses). It’s been prohibited for a long time. Also illegal for so long. These (colorum buses) have already made a lot of money. It is time to remove them (colorum buses) as this is something we have never done yet.]
Senator Escudero hopes that Lim will be more “innovative” in finding solutions to solve traffic in Metro Manila and avoid implementing past schemes that have been unsuccessful pointing out that the two-day number-coding was done in Makati before and was proven ineffective.
Senator Grace Poe also warned Lim and the MMDA not to be quick in making pronouncements as hastily put schemes may actually backfire.
"The plan to implement an expanded number coding scheme should be thoroughly reviewed and should undergo consultation with affected sectors. Is this the most effective solution? Is this something we need? Will this cause more harm than good?" Poe said.
This “knee-jerk” reaction, according to Poe may only benefit those who can afford to buy another vehicle and may actually be more detrimental to the overall traffic situation in Metro Manila.
"Tandaan sana natin na hindi pa gaanong maaasahan ang pampublikong transportasyon, at kung ipatutupad itong expanded number coding scheme, bibili lamang ng pangalawa o pangatlong kotse ang mga may kaya,” added Poe.
[Let’s remember that our public transportation isn’t as reliable yet and if we implement the expanded number coding scheme, those who can afford a second or third vehicle will buy.]
Senator Poe wants to avoid ‘experiments’ that make the commuting public look like ‘guinea pigs’ for programs being tested to relieve traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
"We are one with the desire to resolve traffic, we are all victims here, that's why we should all be part of a solution that is effective and can be implemented continuously," Poe ended.