Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino on Wednesday shared a impromptu meal with bus drivers and passengers to hear the complaints about at the newly opened Southwest Interim Transport Terminal (SWITT) in Paranaque City.
The terminal drew criticisms from bus operators and passengers when it opened Tuesday.
But at a “boodle fight” – a meal where food is served on a long table and eaten with bare hands – at the terminal, Tolentino told the drivers and passengers operations at the terminal will be adjusted and improved.
“We will make more adjustments and improvements until we’ll be able to smoothen the operation of the terminal,” he said.
He said among the adjustments is allowing two city buses at a time to park at the provincial bus terminal to accommodate passengers coming from Cavite and Batangas.
This will address the complaints of passengers, especially senior citizens, that they have to walk for three minutes from the terminal to the city bus terminal in front of the Uniwide Coastal Mall in Paranaque.
“We will station some city buses at the SWITT to pick up passengers arriving from Cavite and Batangas so they don’t have to walk to the city bus terminal,” he said.
The MMDA will open a children’s park and a senior citizen’s lounge by the weekend for the use of the commuters.
A chapel, restrooms, and an airconditioned waiting lounge had been put up earlier at the terminal.
Tolentino also said the footbridge along Coastal Road in front of the terminal will be covered with a canopy and security personnel will be stationed in the area round-the-clock this week.
A medical team is also on a 24-hour standby at the terminal.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO