A Metro Manila congressman yesterday sought to ban private vehicles on the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) during rush hours to give comfort to the working commuters.
Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice said private vehicles should not be allowed on EDSA from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to convert the stretch into “mass transport highway” for the use of public utility vehicles (PUVs).
“We have to be able to bring our workers home first quickly and efficiently,” said Erice.
Erice proposed that it should be implemented until the completion of the rehabilitation of the MRT-3, the Metro Manila subway, and another road connecting the northern and southern Luzon expressways.
During the pre-plenary hearing on the proposed budget of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for 2020, Erice said he is planning to file a resolution to solidify his position on the matter, explaining “it’s time for owners of private vehicles to sacrifice for the sake of ordinary workers.”
In a related development, Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo called on the Land Transportation Franchise Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to issue provisional authority for new buses that will serve Commonwealth Avenue to ease the plight of stranded commuters.
Castelo, vice chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, made the call in response to the need for more buses on Commonwealth Avenue where thousands of commuters are stuck during rush hours due to lack of transportation.
“The provisional authority will allow new buses on Commonwealth to untangle the thousands of stranded commuters spilling over four lanes of the avenue during rush hour which is aggravated by the MRT-7 construction,” said Castelo.
The neophyte lawmaker agreed that Quezon City’s major thoroughfare could become the “next EDSA” if it is left unattended.
“We should heed the tell tale signs of another EDSA and take the necessary measures as early as possible,” said Castelo.
Meanwhile, transportation and commuter groups have welcomed the proposal of Caloocan Congressman Erice to ban private cars on EDSA during rush hours.
Jessie Santos, national president of Public Commuters and Motorists Alliance, corroborated with the proposal of Congressman Erice.
“Maganda po yan at sangayon kami sa proposal na yan,” said Santos.
In a separate statement, lawyer Ariel Inton, founder of Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection (LCSP) and Chief of Quezon City Task Forces Transport Traffic and Management, also commended the proposal of Erice.
“Welcomed development at possible yan,” said Inton.