SC asked not to stop provincial buses from entering Metro Manila-A A +A
Friday, September 27, 2013
TWO commuters from Cavite urged the Supreme Court to nullify a Malacañang directive that pushed the construction of transport terminals aimed at limiting the entry of provincial buses in Metro Manila.
Petitioners Panita Ladera and Dolores Salanga asked the SC to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) on Administrative Order 40, issued in pursuant to Executive Order 67 as well as Memorandum Circular 2013-004, which amended the routes of buses coming from Southern Luzon.
The petitioners specifically criticized the Southwest Interim Transport Terminal in Parañaque City as they had to leave earlier than their usual departure time, spend money for additional ride, and grapple with the lack of public utility vehicles that will ferry them from the terminal to Manila.
Ladera is an English teacher in Calderon Integrated School in Tondo, Manila while Salanga teaches Math in Manila High School in Intramuros.
Both are residents of Bacoor, Cavite.
"The toll on their time and money is too much to bear given their measly salary as public school teachers. Needless to expound, the result if a loss on their property," the petition read.
Interestingly, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa told President Benigno Aquino III in his recommendation for the issuance of AO 40 the increase in travel cost as a result of the re-routing of provincial buses.
However, Ochoa said the overall effect of the Interim Transport Terminal outweighs the disadvantages brought about by the increase in travelling cost.
The petition, which attached signatures from other commuters, assailed the government orders for not consulting the public.
Specifically, the petitioners said Section 5 of Administrative Order 40 must be declared unconstitutional for allegedly clipping the franchise route of provincial buses originating from south of Metro Manila without due notice and public hearing.
"It is clear from the foregoing that there is a violation of the petitioners’ rights as taxpayers, who suffer and will continue to suffer severe injury and damage from the expenditure of public funds to enforce the unconstitutional provisions of the assailed orders of Malacañang and the LTRFB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) memorandum," the petition stated.
The Southwest Terminal opened last August 7. The other terminals will be for buses from provinces of north of Metro Manila and those entering through the South Luzon Expressway.
Named respondents in the petition were Ochoa, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino.
Abaya and Tolentino could not be reached for comment. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)