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REJECT PROPOSAL TO BAN PRIVATE CARS IN EDSA – SOTTO, RECTO, VILLANUEVA

Some senators rejected the proposal to ban private vehicles on Edsa during rush hours to help ease the traffic congestion in the metropolis.

The proposal came from Caloocan City Representative Edgar Erice, who suggested a ban for private cars in Edsa from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to make room for buses and other public utility vehicles.

“The idea is not well-thought-of.”

Senate President Vicente Sotto said the idea is not “well-thought-of.”

“He (Erice) says dagdagan ang buses (to add buses) during that time, then where do you dump the thousands of buses that ply after 9 a.m.,” Sotto said.

The veteran legislator said his original suggestion is still the “best,” which is to declare all Metro Manila streets as “no parking” zones from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. so that private vehicles could take alternative routes instead of the metropolis’ main thoroughfare.

“Then cars need not pass Edsa,” the seasoned lawmaker added.

“Banning private cars is a crazy idea.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, meanwhile, said banning private cars in Edsa is a “crazy idea.”

“But people are free to suggest. I don’t take those seriously. Private car owners pay a lot of taxes. Excise, vat, duties, road users’ tax on vehicles and excise and vat on petroleum. Hundreds of billions a year,” Recto said.

Senator Joel Villanueva said while he is open to such proposal, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) should come up with a list of options and their corresponding consequences to solve the traffic crisis.

Villanueva also noted that the MMDA should also start establishing more elevated walkways to unclog Edsa, considering that there is already an initial budget provided for the project.

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