By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

FEWER VIOLATORS. A Metropolitan Manila Development Authority enforcer stops a vehicle from using the EDSA bus lane on Nov. 13, 2023. The MMDA said on Monday (Dec. 4, 2023) that it has recently recorded a significant drop in busway violators. (PNA photo by Joey Razon)

MANILA – Apprehensions on the Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) busway have dropped significantly through consistent daily operations of traffic enforcers and the recent hike in penalties, an official of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said.

In an interview during the rush hour operations of MMDA enforcers in Quezon City on Monday, MMDA Assistant General Manager for Operations, Assistant Secretary David Angelo Vargas noted a decrease in apprehensions compared to last week.

“At around 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. last week, we have usually apprehended more or less 60 violators. But today, we have observed that there was a minimal number of unauthorized vehicles entering the exclusive bus lane,” he said.

As of 11 a.m., 29 busway violators were apprehended, made of up 26 motorcycles and three cars.

He attributed the decrease to the “consistency in the daily operations” of the MMDA and the increased EDSA busway penalties implemented in October.

“Motorists are gradually obeying traffic rules and regulations in Metro Manila, particularly the EDSA busway policy,” he said.

Aside from EDSA, he said MMDA enforcers are also ramping up anti-illegal parking operations along “Mabuhay Lanes” or the alternative routes for those who want to avoid EDSA.

He urged the public to report areas where there are large numbers of illegally parked vehicles.

“You can report to us your locations where there are many illegally parked vehicles and we will verify it and coordinate with the local government units before we operate in the area,” he said.

He also called for early Christmas shopping for those living in Metro Manila, citing an expected 20 percent increase in vehicular volume during the season.

Under MMDA Regulation 23-002, the new fines and penalties for illegally entering the EDSA busway are a PHP5,000 fine for the first offense, PHP10,000 and a one-month license suspension for a second offense, PHP20,000 plus a one-year license suspension for a third offense, and a PHP30,000 fine plus a recommendation of license revocation for a fourth offense. (PNA)