HOV scheme’s full implementation on Edsa suspended for now

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BUMPER TO BUMPER NO MORE?MMDA officials hope to ease traffic flow on Edsa by regulating the movement of both public and private vehicles. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has suspended the full implementation of the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) scheme for Edsa on August 23.

In a press briefing on Friday, the MMDA said they need to convene with the Metro Manila Council (MMC) first before fully implementing the policy. The MMC is composed of local chief executives in the National Capital Region.

“’Yung ating full enforcement on August 23 will be suspended for a while, until mag-convene ‘yung Metro Manila Council,” MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said.

(Our full enforcement on August 23 will be suspended for a while, until the MMC convenes.)

The MMDA earlier launched a dry-run of the HOV policy, which covers rush hours of week days along the Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (Edsa), until August 22.

READ: MMDA sets weeklong test for Edsa ban on ‘singles’

The HOV policy was initially scheduled for full implementation starting August 23, when traffic authorities were supposed to start issuing penalties against violators.

But until the MMDA convenes with the MMC, Garcia said the policy will remain on “status quo” and that the dry-run will continue beyond the initial one-week schedule.

“Habang hindi pa po kami nagcoconvene, tuloy lang po ang dry-run, dry-run lang (Until we convene, the dry-run will continue, only the dry-run),” Garcia noted.

Garcia said they are set to meet with local executives to discuss the HOV scheme on August 23 or 24.

Some senators have earlier called for the immediate suspension of the HOV scheme, which bans driver-only cars on Edsa. Garcia said the MMDA “respects” the appeal of the lawmakers.

He also said the agency is open for changes in the guidelines of the order, which was aimed to ease gridlock along Edsa. However, he also stressed that they “need to do something” about the traffic woes of the 23.8-kilometer thorouhfare that traverses major cities of Metro Manila.

“The reason we are doing this, hindi po para pahirapan yung ating mga taumbayan (is not to cause hardship to the citizens). We are doing this because we are waiting for the long-term solution,” he said.  /kga



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