In an announcement that didn’t surprise us at all, the Metro Manila Council (MMC)–the governing- and policy-making body of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA)–has revealed that it will continue the dry run of the Expanded High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Traffic Scheme on Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA).
“We have approved a resolution that will extend the dry run and test the carpooling program of the MMDA,” said Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, MMC Special Committee on Traffic head.
Bautista cautioned though that the MMC has yet to receive the assessment of the Expanded HOV Traffic Scheme.
“We have to continue the dry run, know the findings of the MMDA and the affected local government units regarding the Expanded HOV scheme on EDSA and inner cities,” said Bautista.
The MMDA, in coordination with the cities of San Juan, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Makati, and Taguig, will create a study from the test run to determine the impact of the scheme to EDSA’s traffic flow.
With the dry run still in effect, penalties will not be imposed on the violators of the HOV Traffic Scheme. Originally, if the plan of the MMDA was followed with the full implementation of the scheme on August 23, violators will be summoned via the agency’s no contact apprehension policy and be required to pay a fine of PHP1,000.
The MMDA, however, decided to postpone the implementation of the traffic scheme following the issuance of Philippine Senate Resolution No. 845 of the 17th Congress–authored by Senators Vicente Sotto III, Ralph Recto, Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Franklin Drilon–that urged the MMDA to recall the said scheme and called for the agency and the MMC to “conduct public consultations, further study the ‘driver-only’ ban, and provide for real solutions to Metro Manila traffic congestions.”
The MMDa though is set to hold a dialogue with the Legislative and Executive branches of the government to convince officials of the importance of the scheme.
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