On Tuesday, the chairperson of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority missed a Senate investigation into the provincial bus ban of his agency, which last week caused gridlocks on EDSA.
Instead of attending a memorandum of contract signing which could not be delayed, MMDA chairman Danilo Lim said the general manager of his agency, Jojo Garcia.
Sen. Grace Poe, who led the investigation as Chair of the Public Services Committee of the Senate, said the signing of the MOA was simply “ceremonial.”
The MMDA pushed through with the dry run of the ban even after the policy was blocked by a Quezon City tribunal.
Different organizations have challenged the legality of the traffic system before the Supreme Court, claiming that the MMDA has no power to prohibit provincial buses alongside EDSA as the agency has no legislative or police authority.
They depend on a decision of the Supreme Court in 2007 that invalidated the comparable order of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to close bus terminals along EDSA in 2003.
The traffic congestion of the Philippine capital cost the nation P3.5 billion a day, a statistics from the Agency for International Cooperation showed in 2017. This could rise to P5.4 billion by 2035 if no interventions are made.
The government is now rushing to construct transportation systems to facilitate traffic in the capital and free the highways of vehicles.