Celebrities, public figures speak up on MMDA’s driver-only vehicles ban

August 16, 2018 - 5:11 PM
EDSA gridlock
The gridlock in EDSA transferred to EDSA and smaller roads during the first day of the week-long dry run of the high occupancy vehicle traffic scheme in 2018. (Philstar.com/ File photo)

Several personalities spoke up against the heavily criticized Metro Manila Development Authority’s driver-only scheme on EDSA amid the ongoing dry run starting on August 15.

The MMDA previously explained that it produced Regulation No. 18-005 after finding out that vehicles with lone drivers occupy 70% of the congested freeway.

Personalities react

Singer-actress Saab Magalona-Bacarro described the driver-only regulation as “elitist” because it affects parents who drive their children to school, thus echoing the concerns of many others.

“You know who won’t be affected by this? Politicians with several cars and drivers. Are you a parent who drives your kids to school because they might die if they take our sh***y public transit?” Magalona added.

She also took a jab at how the MMDA encouraged the use of carpooling services instead of driving alone when the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board is against it.

In 2017, LTFRB clamped down on two popular ride-sharing companies in the country, Wunder and Angkas, due to safety reasons and lack of permits.

Muntinlupa Representative Ruffy Biazon, meanwhile, shared that the policy may render people like him late for work.

“When EDSA traffic causes me to be late for work in Congress, I usually get off my car in Makati and take the MRT. But I can’t do that now. My driver will be apprehended due to driver-only ban on EDSA. Looks like I’ll be late for a transport committee hearing today,” Biazon said.

Later, he was surprised to find that it only took him nearly an hour to travel from Muntinlupa city to Batasan Complex in Quezon city.

Being funny amid adversity

Veteran singer Jim Paredes poked fun at the traffic fiasco as he suggested a workaround to the public.

Paredes asked in jest earlier that day if MMDA enforcers will allow him to pass for driving a hearse or having a mannequin disguised as his passenger.

Kapuso Marvin Agustin also considered using a group of dogs as companions and the social media team of the agency said, “Hindi po.”

Supreme Court Spokesman Theodore Te also had his own share of wit in the situation.

“I wonder who will be the first solo driver to challenge the ordinance,” Te posted on Twitter.

Traffic enforcers recorded at least 3,000 violators of the traffic scheme during the first day of the week-long trial stage.

Some enforcers merely noted the plate numbers of these vehicles in small notebooks while others flagged them down first.

Traffic congestion along EDSA was transferred to C5 and other smaller roads as drivers traversed alternate routes.

The Senate unanimously voted to adopt a resolution to suspend the implementation of this new policy, which is target to start on August 23.