BEGINNING today, armed Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) personnel will implement stricter traffic rules along EDSA as well as a new scheme that will ban provincial buses from the major thoroughfare from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. HPG traffic enforcers, however, will only conduct video documentations of all traffic violations since they are only allowed to maintain a “no-contact apprehension” policy, Malacañang said on Sunday.
In an interview over state-run Radyo ng Bayan, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said HPG policemen will be manning traffic early in the morning, supported by personnel from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and other concerned agencies.
“We call on the public, especially motorists who ply the EDSA route that starting tomorrow [Monday], PNP-HPG personnel will be deployed as lead traffic law enforcement agency. This is the result of a consensus among all government agencies involved in traffic management. They will be supported by traffic enforcers of the MMDA and even the LTO [Land Transportation Office] and LTFRB [Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board],” Coloma said.
He explained that HPG personnel will oversee the rerouting of provincial buses to decongest EDSA.
“One of the important things that will be implemented is the strict observance of the bus lane. Buses must remain within the bus lanes or what we call ‘yellow lanes,’” Coloma said.
Under the new scheme, provincial buses bound for Southern Luzon will not be allowed to pass the major highway for four hours every day.
Buses going to the Bicol Region and the provinces of Laguna and Quezon and other provinces coming from terminals in Cubao and Kamuning, both in Quezon City, should take P. Tuazon, then C-5, and then proceed to the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).
“Another important step is the rerouting of provincial buses that are south-bound, since they are traveling to Southern Luzon, there is no need for them to ply the EDSA route. They are not supposed to drop or pick up passengers there,” the Palace official said.
“We expect that this will help in decongesting traffic along EDSA… we ask motorists for their support and full cooperation in observing discipline along the road and abiding by traffic rules,” he added.
Since provincial buses will be driven out of Edsa, a new bus lane will be opened on C5, the official said.
Coloma added that buses will also be required to load and unload passengers quickly.
“According to the head of the PNP-HPG, Chief Supt. Arnold Gunnacao, his men will strictly enforce the 30-second rule on loading and unloading of passengers,” he added.
The Department of Public Works and Highways will also assess the need for road engineering works and evaluation to determine the types of vehicles that should pass through certain roads.