House Ways and Means Chair Rep. Joey Salceda scolded the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Land Transport Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for what he describes as “finger pointing” between the two bodies when it comes to recent issues which plague provincial bus routes.
“After imposing these policies, these two agencies are pointing fingers at each other about who really imposed the restrictions. They are also saying that these policies are not really hard restrictions. Ano ba talaga (Which is it)?” Salceda said in a press statement on Friday, April 29.
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Specifically, Salceda is referring to the window hours policy which forbids provincial buses from stopping along provincial terminals from between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
A majority of the provincial terminals are located along Epifanio de los Santos (EDSA) Avenue. Otherwise, outside the window hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., these buses must stop at integrated terminals.
“Impose traffic rules on provincial buses. By all means. Restrict them to certain drop off points along EDSA. Sure. But heavily restrict their access to the main thoroughfare? We provincianos pay our taxes to maintain EDSA, too. Share the road!” Salceda added.
Salceda then made three demands directed at the MMDA and the LTFRB.
“First, just drop all these unclear restrictions on provincial buses in EDSA.”
“Second, if they will issue guidelines, they should be jointly issued, so we don’t see a repeat of this awkward finger pointing.”
“Third, all transport policies of the LTFRB and the MMDA should be properly consulted with commuter groups, and should have a clear, scientific case,” listed Salceda, ending his demands.
The Albay 2nd district solon further roasted the solutions adopted by the transport bodies to address provincial bus issues.
“Look at what they did to address a problem they themselves created. Now they’re ferrying passengers from PITX (Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange) and NLET (North Luzon Express Terminals) via city buses. So, you’re now working with more buses on the road than just letting the provincial buses take the passengers into the city. In terms of number of vehicles on the road, the policy was simply worse. This is insane policymaking,” Salceda concluded.