Senators thumb down Edsa driver-only scheme

MANILA— Senators on Wednesday filed a resolution opposing Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) ban on single-occupancy vehicles on Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (Edsa).

Authored by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senators Franklin Drilon, and Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate Resolution No. 845 “strongly urges” the Metro Manila Council and the MMDA to recall its regulation establishing the expanded high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on Edsa and instead look for “real” and long-term solutions to traffic gridlocks.

With Senate leaders as principal authors of the resolution, Sotto is confident the entire body will support the call.

“We think there are better ideas to resolve the traffic. Before they come up with other ways, they should first address the illegal parking within Metro Manila,” he told reporters.

Once adopted, Sotto said the Metro Manila Council should take the hint and withdraw the new traffic policy. “They’ll know we do not approve this and that we think it’s a bad idea.”

Recto also aired disapproval on the established regulation. “There’s no net reduction of vehicle volume in general. In short, it’ll just divert Edsa’s problem to other highways.”

“Edsa is not a barometer of traffic flow, that by simply ordering a restriction on its use, we can conclude that traffic has been solved,” he said.

He added that cars and motor vehicles are no longer considered a luxury. “Cars are no longer a luxury, but a necessity when there are no other options to commute.”

The Senate resolution points out that the driver-only ban of the MMDA would effectively deprive thousands of people of the use of the country’s major thoroughfare since it would be in effect during the working and commuting hours of the week. Joyce Ann Rocamora/