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.
As of 9:30am, MMDA's non-contact apprehension yielded around 200 driver-only cars along EDSA. pic.twitter.com/0p5PycLdhO
— Gerard de la Peña (@gerarddelapena) August 15, 2018
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.
This driver-only ban on one of the most used highways is STUPID!!! Think about the single working parents or those who have to drive alone somewhere because of an emergency. Okay sana if maayos yung public transportation natin pero HINDI EH. Hassle
— Cholo Puno (@cholotreee) August 14, 2018
An actual single parent expressed sentiments on the regulation.
Im a single parent, and my work is far from my home that I really have to bring my car. Where would i get someone to be with me just to comply with this driver-only car ban?
— ViceRylle (@ViceJakLa) August 14, 2018
Others pointed out that the traffic would only be redirected somewhere else since driver-only vehicles would be forced to look for alternative routes.
MMDA's driver-only car ban lightens traffic on EDSA (left) this morning but creates traffic jam on C-5 (right). Is it a solution? Time to revisit insights of inclusive mobility (move people not vehicles) and the imperative for an efficient & effective mass transit system for NCR pic.twitter.com/aTcYlIzE4O
— Benjamin Velasco (@BenjieBVelasco) August 15, 2018
Banning driver only vehicles seems to have lessened traffic on EDSA, but has severely increased traffic in C5. This has also led to backlog along ortigas extension. This policy isn’t removing the problem, it just transferred it.
— Juan ??? (@jaofriginal) August 15, 2018
User Leonard Pascual listed down a summary of those who are likely to be affected by the new regulation.
Banning driver only cars on Edsa during rush hour will affect people who:
1. Can't afford chauffeurs
2. Single working parents
3. With small families
4. Healthcare professionals with >1 hospital
5. Have dropped off carpool mates or kids at school.
— Leonard Pascual (@drbrainhacker) August 9, 2018
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:
Kawawa naman ako. Matanda na, single pa, wala pang katabi sa sasakyan.
— Sherwin Gatchalian (@stgatchalian) August 8, 2018
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