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SC asked to stop ban on provincial buses along Edsa.

AKO Bicol Party-list on Monday asked the Supreme Court to stop the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) from implementing its regulation banning all provincial buses from plying along Edsa.

In a 44-page petition, AKO Bicol Reps. Ronald Ang and Alfredo Garbin Jr. asked the high court to issue a temporary restraining order against MMDA's Regulation No. 19-002. Aside from banning the buses from plying Edsa, its terminals are no longer allowed to operate along the said thoroughfare.

Petitioners also called on the Court to strike down the assailed measure for violating the 1987 Constitution and existing laws.

It argued that the revocation of business permits granted to all public utility bus terminals and operators is tantamount to an exercise of police power which the MMDA and the Metro Manila Council, composed of all the mayors in the metropolis, do not possess.

'There is no single word or syllables in R.A. No. 7924 (the law creating MMDA) that grants respondent MMDA police power, let alone legislative power. Even respondent MMC has not been delegated any legislative power,' the petitioner insisted.

Even assuming that the MMDA and MMC have police powers, the petitioner argued that the implementation of the assailed regulation is an invalid exercise of police power.

It noted that provincial buses are not the main cause of traffic congestion along Edsa but city buses and private motor vehicles.

To prove their point that banning provincial buses won't solve traffic problems in Edsa, petitioners cited a 2017 study on Edsa's annual average daily traffic. Of the average of 367, 738 vehicles passing by the thoroughfare on a daily basis, 67 percent or 247,527 are private vehicles.

As proof, the said that on Edsa's annual average daily traffic in 2017 of the average of 367,738 vehicles passing by the thoroughfare on a daily basis, 67 percent or 247,527 are private vehicles.

Same statistics showed that 60 percent to 70 percent or an average of 148,516 to 185,645 private motor vehicles per day are single occupancy vehicles.

On the other hand, city buses ply along Edsa with an average of 12,000 units daily compared to only around 3,300 provincial buses.

'Clearly, private motor vehicles and city buses contribute more in the traffic volume along Edsa,' the petitioner said.

The group pointed out that the planned closure of provincial bus terminals would contravene the Public Service Act and related laws which mandate public utilities to provide and maintain their own terminals as a requisite for the privilege of operating as common carriers.

Petitioners added that there was also lack of public consultation which is a must under the law.

'For the record, there was no single public hearing conducted by Respondents MMC and MMDA prior to the Regulation's intended implementation... Unfortunately, Respondents did not hear, nay, never bothered to hear the side of the affected sectors in the provinces concerned,' petitioners lamented.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Apr 29, 2019
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