MANILA, Philippines—Transport operators on Friday reiterated their call to the Supreme Court to inspect the Southwest Interim Transport Terminal (SITT) in Parañaque City to see for themselves its dismal condition that could put commuters at risk.
In a 5-page motion, operators Angeles Bayot, Miriam Villena, Nila Santos, Angela Legaspi, Orlando Ocampo, Basilia Crutyo and Diosdado Perillo said the ocular inspection of the SITT must push through since the initiative is supported by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) who supervises the terminal.
The operators, through their lawyer Romulo Macalintal, suggested before the high court to appoint an officer or commissioner to conduct the inspection for at least three days and on different hours of the day.
“On the basis of such ocular inspection, the Supreme Court could determine if the SITT and its operation are at par with international standards which could provide or insure efficient and seamless travel for the commuting public and if it could be considered as a framework of administration’s centerpiece strategy for infrastructure development as provided under Executive Order No. 67,” Macalintal said.
The inspection, the operators said, would give the high court the chance to determine if SITT is at par with international standards or operating under a very substandard condition.
The operators also said that the riding public, bus drivers and their conductors are allegedly exposed to air pollution and heavy traffic because of the continuous running of the diesel engines of buses waiting for about two hours for their turn to enter the SITT.
They further stated that the space occupied by the SITT at the Uniwide Coastal Mall was also supposedly designed for parking of light vehicles of customers of the mall and never intended for big buses.
Operators have an existing petition with the high court questioning the legality of EO 67, which provides for the establishment of the Integrated Transport System. The said EO, according to petitioners was implemented without due notice and public hearing.
“Our business was greatly affected and we are now suffering extreme financial losses, aside from the fact that hundreds and hundreds of drivers and conductors of buses affected by the SITT had to resign because their regulars trips were reduced from four (4) times a day to only one or two times a day because they have to wait for more than two hours at the SITT before their buses could be allowed to enter the premises to pick up the passengers”, the group lamented.
The group added that “while the objective of the SITT was allegedly to decongest traffic at EDSA, what happened is that the alleged traffic in EDSA was merely transferred to Macapagal Avenue and the Coastal Road and nearby streets.”