SC urged: Stop ban vs Bicol buses on EDSA

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 01 2014 06:48 PM | Updated as of Sep 02 2014 02:48 AM

MANILA - Albay Governor Joey Salceda urged the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday to prevent the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) from enforcing a memorandum circular that prevents commercial buses from Bicol bound for Metro Manila from entering EDSA.

In a petition for prohibition and mandamus, Salceda said the circular was issued with grave abuse of discretion since it "will cause economic disruption" to him, his constituents, and the Province of Albay; will cause gross inconvenience and unnecessary expenses on the part of Salceda, his constituents, and other passengers; and will not resolve the traffic congestion in EDSA.

"[T]rade with and working in Manila is the lifeblood of Bicol and transportation through the affected PUBs (public utility buses) is the main artery since air transportation from and to Bicol is limited and expensive.'

"Hence, the implementation of the subject circular and order will adversely affect not just the economic capability of the affected PUBs and Salceda but, more importantly, his constituents and the Province of Albay, Bicol as the change in routes will affect the workers, producers and suppliers from and to Albay, Bicol," the petition read.

The local government of Muntinlupa City was also named as respondent since the Alabang Terminal is the endpoint of the buses from Bicol, where passengers may disembark and embark, under the circular.

"Salceda, his constituents and other passengers of the affected PUBs will be forced to take another public utility vehicle from the Alabang Terminal to any point in Metro Manila and vice versa... to make matters worse, the Alabang Terminal is not ready and/or capable of accommodating the additional two hundred thirty six (236) affected PUBs and their passengers," the petition read.

Salceda urged the high court to immediately issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) to halt the implementation of the circular while the petition is pending, and, on the merits, nullify the order.

The high court will sit in en banc session on Tuesday but Salceda's petition is not expected to be included in the agenda since it was filed at past 4pm, in which case the petition will be calendared for next week's agenda.