A group of bus operators with units traveling from Cavite to Manila is asking the Supreme Court to inspect the Southwest Interim Transport Terminal (SITT) at the Uniwide Coastal Mall in Parañaque.
In a 12-page omnibus petition, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal and a group of transport operators expressed opposition to the SITT, saying it violates the requirements in building an “integrated transport terminal (ITS)” as set under Executive Order No. 67.
Under EO 67, an ITS is supposed to be “at par with the international standard which could provide effective interconnections between different transport modes and services and will ensure efficient and seamless travel for the commuting public.”
The petitioners said instead of an integrated system, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board created an “isolated or interim system.”
“An ocular inspection of the SITT premises will expose the unberable condition of the SITT which is a far cry from any international standard of a transport syte,” the group said.
“The commuters are exposed to too much pollution brought about by the continuous emission of polluted air from the diesel engines of the hundreds of buses waiting in queue to load their passengers,” it added.
The controversial transport policy prevents provincial public utility buses from entering the National Capital Region.
Buses using the Coastal Road or Manila-Cavite Expressway are barred from entering beyond Parañaque City.
These buses are required to end their routes at the Southwest Interim Transport Terminal at the Uniwide Coastal Mall in Baclaran, Parañaque City. Commuters have to transfer to city buses or other public utility vehicles operating within the city.
Several other groups have earlier opposed the integrated trasnport system introduced by the government.
In their 38-page plea filed in October, petitioners Panita Ladera and Dolores Salanga, commuters from Cavite who travel daily to work in Manila, asked the high court to issue a temporary restraining order against three orders related to the newly-introduced transport policy, namely:
Executive Order No. 67, which establishes an Integrated Transport System (ITS) issued by President Benigno Aquino III
Administrative Order No. 40, which creates “Interim Transport Terminals” in preparation for the ITS, also issued by the President
Memorandum Circular No. 2013-004 which amends the route of provincial buses coming from provinces south of Metro Manila, issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
The group said commuters coming from the south had to shell out extra money to reach their destinations in Metro Manila. It said implementing the contested policy is similar to directly imposing taxes on commuters. — Mark Merueñas/KBK, GMA News