Metro Manila Council will not suspend driver-only car ban in EDSA

MANILA, Philippines – Refusing to bow to public clamor, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) decided Friday, August 24, it will not suspend the driver-only car ban along EDSA during rush hour.

The MMC convened on Friday to discuss their decision on the ban, after Senate leaders issued a resolution urging traffic regulators to "immediately suspend" the measure.

The MMC agreed to continue with the dry run until further notice.

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said the MMDA and Metro Manila cities, particularly San Juan, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Makati, and Taguig, will create a study from the dry run to see how the measure will decongest traffic in the capital region.

"We agreed that we will continue to study [the measure]. We will wait for the findings of San Juan, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Makati, and Taguig, and MMDA," Bautista said in a mix of English and Filipino.

"We will also continue our dialogue with both Houses, and then meet with [Malacañang] to present our findings," he added.

While the measure is on dry run implementation, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said that the public should practice carpooling even though fines will not be implemented just yet.

"We really need to do something and we're encouraging people to practice carpooling. Our local officials said traffic congestion has become heavier in the inner streets. That's why we reiterate the need for carpooling," Garcia said.

Under full implementation, violators may be fined P1,000.

Composed of Metro Manila mayors, MMC is the governing board and policy-making body of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

The MMDA earlier suspended the supposed full implementation of the driver-only car ban.

On August 7, the MMC approved the ban to reduce traffic congestion in the capital region.

In 2017, there were 367,738 vehicles that plied EDSA daily, 60% to 70% of which were single-occupancy vehicles. MMDA argue that the policy will reduce total vehicles in EDSA by 40% during rush hours. –

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.