MANILA - A lawmaker said Monday it was time to give the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) legislative powers and to oversee other transit systems, as commuters complained of increasingly hellish travel in the capital region.
Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando said it was "about time" for President Rodrigo Duterte to transfer operations of the metro's transport systems, such as the MRT, to the MMDA.
"The national agencies may be too busy now in other areas, Davao, Cebu, they might as well relegate this job to an agency like MMDA who can be focused," he said.
Fernando, a former MMDA chairman, said he has also filed a measure that would allow the agency to formulate its own regulations upon the approval of the Metro Manila Council and local government councils, to make ordinances to unify traffic regulations in the metro.
"It will solve the problem of this 'kaniya-kaniya.' Every local government has its own regulations. No uniformity," he told ANC's Headstart on Monday.
"The motoring public would be at a loss or would not know the rules to follow and they would not even know where they are because the boundaries here are not known to the people."
Fernando again called for the revival of the Organized Bus Route System formerly implemented when he was MMDA chairman, which he said would prioritize buses in EDSA.
"It’s actually doing an effective dispatching system. They claim 4,000 buses (plying EDSA), it’s less than that," he said.
"These are run by at least 100 bus companies, which is too many and none of them can really do effective dispatching, so we have to pull everything under MMDA to dispatch everything."