Panelo: Give MMDA chance to fix traffic mess

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 13) — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has found an ally in Malacañang.

Presidential Spokesperson Sal Panelo took the agency's side when pressed about efforts to resolve traffic concerns, including the plan to ban provincial buses on EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos Ave.).

"Let MMDA do its job. Pag wala pa ring magawa, e di hanap pa rin ng tayo ng ibang solusyon," Panelo said in a media briefing Tuesday.

[Translation: If nothing can be done, then let's look for another solution.]

The agency attempted to implement a ban on provincial buses this month until a Quezon City court issued an order to block it.

Only 24 out of the 3,000 registered provincial buses participated in the voluntary trial run of the bus ban on August 7.

MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia, in a Senate hearing, said the ban would take out more than 3,000 buses on EDSA's yellow lane, which would shorten travel time.

However, provincial buses only comprise one percent of the average 380,000 vehicles that pass through EDSA per day.

Panelo said the MMDA is open to suggestions from the public.

"They can send it to MMDA directly, to (the Office of the President), to me. Pinapadala ko agad yan sa MMDA at binibigyan nila ng audience yung nagbibigay ng mungkahi," Panelo said.

[Translation: I send the suggestions to the MMDA and they meet with those who gave them.]

Panelo suggested that establishments, including schools and banks, have 24-hour activity.

"Kalahati nyan nasa night time, yung kalahati nasa araw," Panelo said, adding that he would relay his own suggestion to President Rodrigo Duterte.

[Translation: Half of the establishments would be open at night, half during the day.]