New car pooling proposal may curtail rights, lawyers say

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 11 2017 05:56 AM

Lawyers believe that banning people driving solo from plying EDSA may curtail their rights.

A new proposal for car pooling suggests banning cars with only a driver from EDSA to help alleviate traffic.

Speaking to DZMM, former University of the Philippines College of Law dean Atty. Pacifico Agabin said the proposal, if approved, may violate a person's right to property.

It may also be considered discriminatory to the poor, since those who can afford to hire drivers will have an advantage over those who cannot afford one.

He also said a measure of this kind should undergo scrutiny in Congress.

"Kailangan ng legislation ng Congress. Wala sa poder ng MMDA ito at masyadong mabigat ang restrictions... Maski na rekomendado ng Metro Manila Council, mas mabuti po siguro kung idaan nila sa Kongreso kasi masyadong mabigat ang restriction sa property nito at kailangan din ma-refine kung merong mga exceptions o hindi," Agabin said.

Agabin also believes it is essential for lawmakers to look into the measure to balance how it will affect both the public and people's private properties.

"Medyo mabigat na restriction ito. Kailangan mabalanse 'yung right to property ng tao at 'yung public convenience," he said.

Atty. Nicholas Ty, a transportation and public utilities law professor, for his part, said that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Metro Manila Council should ensure that the measure is neither arbitrary nor oppressive.

"Kailangan maipakita ng MMDA na hindi arbitrary and oppressive ang measure na ito," he told DZMM.

He also said it is better to have a multi-perspective solution to the country's traffic problem.

"Kailangan multi-perspective ang solusyon natin eh. Kailangan combination ng maraming measures na ipagsama sama at isama mo na rin ang political will ng mga mediators para mabawasan ang trapik natin," Ty said.

The new car pooling measure states that cars that have at least three passengers can pass EDSA any time and at any day, without being subjected to the number coding scheme.

Those with only two passengers, meanwhile, can pass EDSA but is subject to the existing coding system.

Other proposals to solve the metro's traffic problem is to implement a two-day coding scheme and to make the whole stretch of EDSA one-way.