Baguio City council says no to provincial bus ban

BAGUIO CITY- The Baguio City Council is strongly urging the Department of Transportation (DOTr)-Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to conduct an in-depth study on Memorandum Circular 2019-031 that prohibits provincial buses to traverse EDSA and identifies the loading and unloading points for provincial buses coming from North and South Luzon.
Memorandum Circular 2019-031 provides that “all routes of provincial buses from the North along EDSA “are temporarily amended to end at Valenzuela Interim Terminal, and those coming from South Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with terminals along EDSA in Cubao, Quezon Ciy will end at Sta. Rosa Interim Terminal, while those coming from South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao with terminals along EDSA in Pasay City will end at Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).”
Councilors Betty Lourdes F. Tabanda and Francisco Roberto A. Ortega VI, in their approved resolution, described the scheme as “bothersome”. They claimed it would bring inconveniences to the elderly, the pregnant, the PWDs, the physically challenged, and other disadvantaged groups who are transferring from one transportation to another especially during inclement weather.
Tabanda and Ortega explained that while the scheme may reduce the number of provincial buses along EDSA, it could however congest the interim/integrated terminals with provincial passengers. They anticipated that the same number of passengers taken off at EDSA would still traverse EDSA through city buses which will increase in number.
“The scheme is also labelled as anti-poor as most passengers could only afford public transport to ferry them directly to and from Metro Manila at the lowest possible cost,” the proponents added.
A copy of the resolution will be furnished Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for their information and appropriate action.
On August 7, the MMDA conducted a voluntary dry run for the provincial buses despite a restraining order issued by a Quezon City court. The said dry run was reported unsuccessful as only 136 had participated out of 2,736 provincial buses (Cinco, Reysio-Cruz; Inquirer.net). **Jordan G. Habbiling

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