Taking off from the previous hearing, the Quezon City (QC) government, via traffic czar Atty. Ariel Inton and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) represented by Engr. Emilio Llavor of the Road Safety Unit, discussed the proposal for the provision of additional buses for commuters along Commonwealth. These buses will be dispatched and positioned near Soliven and DoAa Carmen instead of their origin points in Fairview. This setup will allow buses to service 4,000-5,000 passengers who are stranded during rush hours.
With both parties amenable to the proposal, the QC government is set to start its dry run anytime, to which the MMDA agreed as not requiring prior consent of the Metro Manila Council (MMC) since it only concerns QC traffic.
The QC government also committed to passing its own ordinance exempting it from the coding scheme of the MMDA. Ideally, however, this lifting of the coding scheme for public transports should be allowed up to the endpoints which are beyond Quezon City (i.e. Ortigas, Makati and Quiapo).
For its part, the MMDA committed to putting in the next MMC meeting's agenda the proposal to lift all coding schemes on public transport within a certain window (possibly between 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.) for all Metro Manila cities.
When asked about the specific projects which will require emergency powers, MMDA conceded that it is mainly a coordinating body and any grant of emergency powers to the traffic czar (in this case, the Secretary of Transportation) might not redound directly to the MMDA.
However, MMDA cited some projects which might need expanded powers on their part in order to arrive at more sustainable solutions. This listing of short (1-3 years), medium (3-6 years), and long-term projects (6-10 years) will be submitted to the committee for consideration.
Finally, it was brought to the committee's attention that there is an existing Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) which is composed of the Department of Transportation, MMDA, Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Armed Forces of the Philippines and local government units through the MMC and the Liga ng mga Barangays. The I-ACT is a standing coordinating committee which was created way back in September 2016 with the goal of improving the traffic situation not just in Metro Manila but also in the adjacent provinces of Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite and Laguna. The I-ACT is currently operational even without emergency powers.
Source: Senate of the Philippines