Driver-only ban on EDSA is bad news for working parents, small families

August 15, 2018 - 6:28 PM

The Metro Manila Development Authority starts the dry run of banning driver-only vehicles on EDSA on Wednesday, August 15 but prior to that, there have been unfavorable reactions to the new regulation.

MMDA has already spotted around 200 driver-only vehicles on the major highway as of 9:30 a.m., TV5 reported.

MMDA’s Regulation No. 18-005 prohibits vehicles without passengers from using any lane of EDSA, specifically from North Avenue, Quezon City to Magallanes, Makati City.

The ban would be enacted during rush hours on weekdays, particularly at 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Drivers who violate the regulation will be subjected to a penalty fee amounting to P1,000. It would be fully implemented on August 23 but its dry run is on August 15.

Why the driver-only ban is problematic 

When the MMDA proposed the driver-only ban on EDSA, many argued that the policy could be discriminatory.

Most of them called out the government agency for taking a hit on single people with their own vehicles. Twitter user Cholo Puno pointed out that single parents are at a disadvantage.

An actual single parent expressed sentiments on the regulation.

Others pointed out that the traffic would only be redirected somewhere else since driver-only vehicles would be forced to look for alternative routes.

User Leonard Pascual listed down a summary of those who are likely to be affected by the new regulation.

Senators have also called for the MMDA to suspend the driver-only regulation in a resolution.

Filed by Senators Tito Sotto, Ralph Recto, Migz Zubiri and Franklin Drilon, part of the resolution states:

“Whereas, transport experts, including University of the Philippines Planning and Development Research Foundation’s Primitivo Cal, warned that such ‘piecemeal’ or ‘band-aid’ measure could even worsen traffic congestion as it could encourage the proliferation of unauthorized ‘for-hire’ vehicles or ‘colorum’, as shown by the recently scrapped Indonesian model.”

Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, previously said that the government agency should release a clear set of guidelines first.

Senator Win Gatchalian tweeted in jest:

Public policy watchdog Infrawatch Philippines argued that the driver-only ban violates due process requirements.

According to convenor Teddy Ridon, “Sorry to burst the bubble of the MMDA, but they cannot implement the HOV scheme tomorrow without violating due process requirements.”

“A public hearing is required prior to the issuance of any administrative regulation. No public hearing has been conducted by the MMDA, yet the public will be accosted for a clearly unconstitutional regulation.”

“As the implementing agency, the MMDA has the obligation under the Administrative Code to conduct public hearings prior to the issuance of any administrative regulation.” — Video by Uela Altar-Badayos