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Senators reject ban on private cars in EDSA

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By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senate leaders rejected on Tuesday the proposal of a congressman to ban private vehicles in EDSA during rush hours.

EDSA in Quezon City (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

EDSA in Quezon City (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Caloocan Representative Edgar Erice floated the idea of making EDSA exclusive to public utility vehicles from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to address the worsening traffic condition in the 23-kilometer national highway.

Erice suggested that private vehicles use alternative roads during these hours.

READ MORE: Solon: Ban private cars on EDSA during rush hours

But Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the congressman may not have thought about his proposal carefully.

“It’s not a well thought of idea. He says dagdagan ang buses (increase the buses) during that time, then where do you dump the thousand of buses that ply after 9 a.m.?” Sotto said in a text message sent to reporters.

Senate Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, meanwhile, brushed aside Erice’s “crazy” proposition.

“It’s a crazy idea. But people are free to suggest. I don’t take those seriously,” he said.

Recto believes that private car ownerS should not be discriminated against in the efforts to ease traffic as he noted that they “pay a lot of taxes” such as excise tax, value-added tax, and road users tax.

The tax collections from private car owners, he said, amount to “Hundreds of billions a year.”

Sotto, meanwhile, maintained that a strict no-parking policy would “best” solve the congestion of vehicles in EDSA.

“My original suggestion is still the best, no parking in the entire metro Manila streets from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Then cars need not pass EDSA,” he said.

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