The never-ending provincial bus ban is in the process of being saved by many petitions. In fact, three (3) petitions were filed against the effectivity and the legality of the provincial bus ban along EDSA. However, the Supreme Court (SC) junked the petition.
In a resolution notice released last Friday, January 4th, 2020, the Supreme Court said that they’ve dismissed three (3) petitions that has since been filed last year which seeks to have the MMDA Regulation No. 19-002 to be null and void; they said that the petitions needed to be referred to the Proper Trial Court or the Court of Appeals.
Who made the petitions?
The three (3) petitions that were filed came from the following sources:
- Albay Representative Joey Salceda
- Makabayan Bloc;
- AKO Bicol Party-list Chairperson Aderma Angelie Alcazar with incumbent representative at the House, Alfredo Garbin Jr., and Ronald Ang
What were the petitions against the provincial bus ban along EDSA?
As per the Supreme Court, the petitions revolved around providing permits or accesses to public utility bus terminals and operators along EDSA, giving them a capability of being passed; as well as battling the capabilities and the ideals of the MMDA.
On a more concrete note, one of the queries sent even included a presentation of evidence on how the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) came up with a provincial bus ban policy to be the cure for the traffic congestion in the whole National Capital Region (NCR). In the appeal, they questioned how the MMDA came up with the statistics in proving so.
Provincial buses “not the main cause of traffic congestion”
AKO Bicol party-list said that the regulation where the MMDA got the idea was actually just made from verbal directives, not from solid proof or data that shows it’s the real problem.
There is no single word or syllables in the MMDA law that grants MMDA police power, let alone legislative power. Even respondent [Metro Manila Council] has not been delegated any legislative power.”
They even added that the provincial buses aren’t the “main and single” cause of the traffic congestion along EDSA but private motor vehicles and city buses.
The Makabayan Bloc, on the other hand, said that these petitions against provincial bus ban along EDSA is just another move that would have little to no impact. They said and iterated the other arguments from other petitions that the MMDA went over their power of banning provincial buses along EDSA.
In their petition, they said that the MMDA clearly violated the correct process; because they do not have power over what they’re trying to do – control what vehicles can pass through a major thoroughfare.
Considering that MMDA is not equipped with police and legislative powers, verily it violates the due process rights not just of the affected buses but also the affected public.”
What does the Supreme Court have to say about this?
In their dismissal statement, they said that the petitions against provincial bus ban along EDSA violates the dogma of the court hierarchy. In addition to that, the SC pointed out the questions that these petitioners had in terms of:
- How the regulation was approved without the MMDA having power;
- The manner in which it was straightly OK-ed without enough proof or data
They said that it “necessitates presentation of evidence on the procedure undertaken by the MMDA.” Moreover, they said the “factual questions and issues” require enough evidence and hearing.
These factual questions require reception of evidence and/or hearing which must be relegated to the Court of Appeals or to the proper trial court.”
In terms of figuring a resolution out, the Supreme Court, dismissing all petitions, would clearly want to see the continuance of the provincial bus ban along the major thoroughfare.
All the petitions against provincial bus ban have been dismissed; therefore, it will continue and it’ll be near from where we are now for us to distinguish whether or not it’s the problem we really need to solve.
How about you? What do you think? Do provincial buses really take a toll on how the traffic congestion in the whole NCR is? Or is it not the main ingredient to solve the problem? Let’s wait and see on how the whole provincial bus ban will go and the Philippine government will be taking it from there.