Dry run of EDSA driver-only car ban continues

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 16) —  The Metro Manila Development Authority is unfazed by a Senate resolution critiquing a scheme that bans driver-only cars from plying EDSA during rush hours.

The dry run will continue as scheduled, even as lawmakers called for the suspension of the scheme.

"Tuloy ang dry run pero walang apprehension. Kaya nga hindi namin kayo pinipilit, hindi rin namin kayo huhulihin," MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia told CNN Philippines' The Source on Thursday. "Pero nakikiusap kami... magparticipate po tayo."

[Translation: The dry run continues, but with no apprehensions. We're not forcing you, and we won't catch you. But we are appealing to you... please participate.]

Authorities have yet to announce whether the scheme will still take effect on August 23, as planned.

The Metro Manila Council — which convenes the mayors of the different cities— is expected to meet on the matter next week.

The MMDA expects that the driver-only ban will take 40 percent of cars off the road and increase travel speed from 11.78 kph to 31.29 kph. However, critics of the scheme doubt this estimation and believe it will only clog up other roads.

Although no apprehensions will be made during the dry run, the MMDA recorded 3,000 violations when the dry run began on Wednesday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told the public to give the scheme the benefit of the doubt. He also emphasized how the MMDA encouraged carpooling.

"At syempre, patuloy na pataas ang presyo ng gasolina [Gasoline prices are getting higher]. So let's give it a chance," said Roque.

"Ginagawa naman yan sa Amerika, sa iba't ibang parte ng daigdig. Hindi naman tayo ang kauna-unahang nag-eksperimento diyan," he added. "Subukan naman po natin."

[Translation: That's being done in America and other parts of the world. We're not the first to experiment on it. So let's just try it.]

MMDA wants 46 bus terminals out of EDSA

The MMDA, which also began implementing a provincial bus ban this month, also aims to take 46 bus terminals out of EDSA.

"Puro choke points iyan. Pagparada ng bus diyan, 40, 50 passengers will go down then transfer. Tapat ng terminal, naging terminal ng UV express, taxi," said Garcia.

[Translation: They are all chokepoints. When a bus stops, 40, 50 passengers go down and transfer. In front of the terminal, there is always another terminal for UV express (cars) and taxis.]

"Ang makikinabang is the city bus," he added.

[Translation: This will be to the benefit of city buses.]

Garcia said the choke points will be cleared when other terminals outside Metro Manila are completed.

This includes a terminal in Valenzuela, pegged to open in two months, and another in Sta. Rosa, which could open in December.

Watch the full interview with Garcia here.


CNN Philippines digital producer Alyssa Rola contributed to this story.