QC buses defy bus ban, anger Erap


Posted at Aug 08 2013 11:05 AM | Updated as of Aug 09 2013 01:14 AM

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Bastusan na ito, Erap tells bus operators

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - No less than Manila Vice-Mayor Isko Moreno led traffic authorities in apprehending Quezon City passenger buses entering Manila despite a bus ban.

At least 8 passenger buses were stopped by traffic authorities at the Welcome Rotonda for trying to enter Manila. Passengers of the apprehended buses had no choice except transfer to jeepneys and other public utility vehicles to be able to continue their commute to Manila.

Moreno reiterated the local government has the authority to regulate the use of roads in their jurisdiction.

"Katulad ng sinabi namin sa kanila talagang iimplement namin yung batas dito sa lungsod, kung silay susubok, wala kaming magagawa kundi hulihin sila lahat," he said.

"Kung gusto nila maghanapbuhay, maayos lahat, sumunod lang sila sa maliit na alituntunin na pinapatupad ng lungsod ng Maynila."

Former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada also arrived in the area and was angered by what he saw.

"Bastusan na ito," he said, noting that bus drivers are defying the ban despite his warnings yesterday that they will catch all violators.

Meantime, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, lawyer of the Alliance of Concerned Bus Operators, said the city council resolution does not have the effect of law and violates the franchise of bus operators.

Estrada, however, said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board is at fault for giving too many franchises. 

"Dapat nagkaroon tayo ng dialogue bago tayo humantong sa ganito. Alam mo, mag-usap tayo. Kahit na maysakit ako nagpunta ako dito," he told Topacio. 

"Ayaw kong may naaapi pero dapat intindihin mo kalagayan namin sa Maynila. Matagal na lahat ng klaseng pumapasok ng Maynila. Lagayan ng lagayan e ngayon lang tumatahimik ang Maynila," he added. 

Estrada also told bus operators not to defy the bus ban again. He even joked that he wore military fatigues because the issue over the buses felt like a battle with Moro rebels.

Lower terminal fees

After the scene at Welcome Rotonda, bus operators headed straight to Manila City Hall for a dialogue with Estrada.

The mayor said what happened Thursday morning could have been prevented if they just talked to them beforehand in a dialogue instead of deliberately violating their bus ban.

Bus operators, however, said they have been airing their side even before. They said the Park 'N Ride is asking exorbitant fees, which is P120 per day per bus or P3,200 per month per bus.

After the dialogue, the city government of Manila and the bus operators agreed to reduce the fee at the Park 'N Ride terminal to P75 a day per bus.

"It appears to be good enough for the members," Topacio said in an interview with ANC Thursday afternoon.

He noted that they were also able to negotiate with the owners of the Park 'N Ride to whittle down the required security deposit of two months advance and one month deposit to only half month deposit.

He said bus operators who signed up with Park 'N Ride will start plying their routes tomorrow.

"This was a win-win situation for both parties and we were gladdened by the receptiveness of the two top officials of the city of Manila to our request for dialogue," Topacio said. 

Estrada, meanwhile, told bus operators not to defy the bus ban again. He even joked that he wore military fatigues because the issue over the buses felt like a battle with Moro rebels.  With a report by Zyann Ambrosio, ABS-CBN News