The Muntinlupa City government has advised residents and motorists to brace themselves for heavier traffic, as the city will be accommodating the over 500 provincial buses from Southern Luzon which will be barred from entering Edsa starting Wednesday next week.
As part of the route rationalization of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Metro Manila, 556 provincial buses—which would be considered out-of-line if they enter Edsa—will be directed to an existing terminal near the viaduct in Filinvest, Alabang.
The LTFRB earlier proposed the terminal in the Market! Market! area in Taguig City, but Metro Manila mayors in a meeting on Thursday agreed to use the one in Muntinlupa instead.
Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi said the terminal at South Station, Alabang, could already be used next week after Filinvest Corp., the owner of the land, gave its approval.
“We plead for everyone’s cooperation in the adjustment of the routes of provincial buses,” Fresnedi added.
“We will deploy additional traffic enforcers from the Muntinlupa Traffic Management Bureau, Public Order and Safety Office, and Philippine National Police to monitor smooth traffic flow for the commuters,” city administrator Allan Cachuela added.
Buses coming from the expressway going to Alabang would have make a detour to the Filinvest exit going to the South Station terminal to avoid traffic at the Alabang Viaduct area, Cachuela said.
According to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Francis Tolentino, “these 556 buses are the ones always apprehended for out-of-line violations along Edsa.”
Tolentino said the original plan was to bar up to 1,138 buses from Edsa, but that number would require an additional terminal.
The MMDA had already coordinated with Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto regarding the setup of a temporary terminal for buses that could not be accommodated in Muntinlupa, he added.
In July last year, the MMDA opened the South-West Integrated Provincial Transport Terminal on Coastal Road in Parañaque City. Considered a temporary facility, it now accommodates 1,000 buses from Cavite and Batangas provinces.
The Alabang terminal is designated for those coming from Laguna and the eastern side of Batangas. A permanent terminal is being planned at the FTI Complex in Taguig.
LTFRB Chair Winston Ginez earlier suggested that the terminal for buses coming from the south be situated in Market! Market!, but Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano explained that the area was not designed to be a terminal.
“The Sampaguita ramp, which is the proposed area where bus slots will be placed, has not yet been tested if it is structurally sound to hold the buses,” Cayetano said, adding that having the terminal there would only worsen the traffic situation on C5.