MMDA: Convoys of 5 government VIPs can use Edsa bus lanes

MINI HUDDLE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) acting chairman Romando Artes (center) has a private conversation with traffic discipline chief Vic Nunez in the middle of Thursday’s press conference with MMDA CEO Procopio Lipana (right) on the agency’s Edsa exclusive policy bus lanes and the suspension of the head of the task force’s special operations unit, Bonga Nebrija. —GRIG C. MONTEGRADE

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Thursday that the country’s five top officials can start using the exclusive bus lane on Edsa starting next week.

At a press conference, the MMDA announced that the Department of Transportation (DOTr), in a letter dated November 14, had approved its recommendation to allow convoys consisting of the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker and Chief Justice to use the Edsa carousel bus lane beginning November 20.” to provide assistance in the performance of their duties.”

Revilla gives up its name

Under current regulations, only city buses approved by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, as well as emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire engines, and marked emergency response vehicles, can use the bus lane.

The Department of Transportation’s approval of the MMDA’s recommendation to expand who can use the Edsa bus lane came a day before Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr.’s motorcade was stopped. for violating the rules in Mandaluyong City.

However, it turned out that the claim by the head of the MMDA Task Force Special Operations Unit, Bong Nebrija, was false and that two drivers in the convoy had just mentioned the senator’s name.

Revilla also denied being in the stopped convoy, saying he was in Cavite province at the time.

“I commute from the south to the Senate every day and there is no way I can be on Edsa in Mandaluyong. When I attend official functions in the north, I take the Skyway from the south and back,” Revilla said in a statement.


Nebrija, who went to the Senate to personally apologize to the senator, was suspended for 15-30 days by MMDA acting chairman Romando Artes to pave the way for an investigation.

The head of the task force explained that the officers who stopped him told him that the senator had used the bus lane.

The stopping officers, in turn, told Artes that they had received information from two drivers.

Both drivers, summoned to the MMDA headquarters on Thursday, admitted to Artes that they only missed Revilla.

Artes said the two were fined £5,000 for using the exclusive bus lane, adding that Revilla should be the ones to prosecute them.

Tougher penalties

Earlier this week, the MMDA began imposing stiffer penalties on violators to discourage repeat violators who were willing to pay the fine because they could afford it. The fine for public and private vehicles has been increased from £1,000 per offense to £5,000 for a first offence. For a second offense, offenders can face a fine of £10,000, a one-month suspension of their driving license and must undergo a road safety seminar.

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Third-time offenders, on the other hand, would be fined P20,000 in addition to a one-year driver’s license suspension, while a fourth offense would result in a fine of P30,000 and a recommendation to the Land Transportation Office to revoke their driver’s license. perpetrator’s driving license.


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