MANILA, (PNA) — Chairman Francis Tolentino of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Sunday junked the appeal of several Cavite bus operators who earlier went on strike to protest the operation of the Southwest Interim Provincial Terminal (SWIPT) in Paranaque City that they should be allowed to unload passengers at the Pasay-Taft Rotonda area.
Tolentino said not all the request of the bus operators were denied by the agency during the Saturday’s meeting, as he also met with bus operators that did not join the strike.
The MMDA earlier identified the bus firms who went on strike late last month as Don Aldrin, Edmond, San Antonio de Padua and Erjohn.
Tolentino said that despite complaints, the MMDA has done major improvement at the terminal to further enhance its operations and for the convenience of the passengers such as setting up of a covered walkway from Roxas Boulevard/Coastal Road footbridge to the terminal, covered walkway from the terminal o the adjacent city bus terminal, a taxi bay at the terminal exit along MIA Road, widening of the terminal’s MIA Road exit towards Coastal Road, installation of industrial-sized exhaust fans and drinking fountains among others.
In related development, Tolentino also challenged a group of consumers who launched a signature campaign to stop the operation of the SWIPT to show alternatives to help ease traffic congestion in the metropolis.
The MMDA chief said he respects the move of the Coalition of Filipino Consumers in launching the drive but cited, “there should be alternatives,”
“It is their right but that will not stop us from seeking solutions in finding solutions to alleviate traffic congestion in major thoroughfares in Metro Manila,” said Tolentino.
Just last week, the Coalition of Filipino Consumers (CFC) started gathering signatures for their “1 Million Cry of the Filipino Commuters.”
The petition aims to gather one million signatures of commuters affected by the MMDA’s plan to install central bus terminals in the metropolis.
The gathered signatures will be part of a petition seeking to suspend the implementation of Administrative Order No. 40 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.
The AO mandates the MMDA to establish interim bus terminals in Metro Manila as part of the planned integrated transport system.