MANILA – HDI (High-Desert International) StopOvers, Inc. today said its bus shelters built and eventually dismantled along EDSA were not “colorum,” contrary to claims by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
HDI legal counsel Linda Jimeno said the structures were only dismantled because of MMDA’s new bus-segregation scheme. “They don't have a use for those sheds anymore, to which we agree," she said.
HDI is an outdoor advertising service company that promotes shed advertising in the country.
Jimeno explained that most of the structures were part of the "old inventory" and were merely inherited from MMDA long before Francis Tolentino was appointed chairman.
Some were also moved to other areas because of the MMDA’s directive to move the sheds from the outer lanes of EDSA to the sidewalk to improve traffic flow.
She said MMDA sent a letter to HDI general manager Darmo Castillo last January 16, 2013, received at 5:14 pm, advising them of the demolition of six structures at the soonest time possible.
MMDA’s Corazon Jimenez said in the letter that the structures were not designated loading/unloading areas "thus creating confusion on the part of the bus drivers and passengers."
MMDA proceeded to demolish the structures the following day at around 9:00 a.m. without allowing HDI enough leeway to dismantle the sheds.
"HDI doesn't subscribe to such activities (dismantling) during day time because of the traffic it will cause. The dismantling was done with full media coverage which put the company in a bad light," Jimeno said.
Jimeno said HDI, which has been constructing and maintaining public transport shelters since 1992, is willing to work with MMDA to avoid any miscommunication in the future.
“The company would like to assure the public and the agency that we are more than willing to coordinate and improve communication channels with the agency to avoid miscommunications like what happened,” Jimeno said.