MANILA – Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno on Wednesday expressed doubts over the legitimacy of the Fairview-Quiapo-Baclaran Bus Operators Association, which filed a petition at the Manila Regional Trial Court for a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the city’s bus ordinance.
According to Moreno, the city government has already agreed with bus operators. He said representatives of the Fairview-Quiapo-Baclaran Bus Operators Association were not present during the discussions.
"Mr. Meneses was not part of it because I don't think he is a bus operator. Because we always talk with the bus operators, 'yung legitimate, with legal and valid franchises," Moreno told ANC’s “Top Story.”
Edgardo Meneses, the president of the group, said they are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), but the vice mayor said that does not legitimize the group as bus operators.
“I can register also myself as a president of a certain association. I’ll just get 5 members to put up an organization and we’ll have it registered with the SEC. Anybody can be a leader, pero ang issue dito ay bus operators. Sino ang mga miyembro?” Moreno said.
“I will respect their constitutional right, they have the right to their opinion. We will respect whatever the court decides. For the meantime, in the absence of the TRO, ang policy nandiyan ‘yan,” he added.
The policy prevents even legitimate buses from going through Manila if they do not have their own terminals in the city or unless they pay a terminal fee, which Meneses called “exorbitant.”
“Dagdag gastusin lang ‘yan sa operation namin,” he said.
The local government said the bus ban was implemented to improve traffic in the city.
The bus operators have already met with Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, where the two sides agreed to a lower terminal fee.