Why pick on poor commuters? | Inquirer Opinion
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Why pick on poor commuters?

09:02 AM April 10, 2019

What do these issues have in common: (1) Prohibition of three people on a motorcycle; (2) removal of bus terminals on Edsa; (3) crackdown on motorcycle taxi service Angkas; and (4) new motorcycle license plate law? They are all measures aimed against the poor by government leaders who use cars.

I don’t think government officials have had the problem of trying to ferry kids or friends to places without a car. Sometimes it is much less a headache to overload them on a motorcycle when going short distances.

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The existing bus depots on Edsa are much more convenient than the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) plan of relocating all terminals outside the Metro area.

It is so difficult to transfer sleepy kids from one bus to another. Besides, the transfer takes more time for the passengers. I really doubt any MMDA official who has had to use a provincial bus would ever agree to this idea.

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A suggestion: If the MMDA wants to reduce congestion on Edsa, why not do a special odd-even scheme for private cars? This would reduce vehicular traffic by half. After all, these cars take up much more room per passenger than provincial buses do.

Everyone knows that motorcycles are dangerous. Those people who don’t want to ride on motorcycles should not use Angkas. Those that think it is worth the risk can use this taxi service. Problem solved! Underpaid workers and students don’t need patronizing prohibitions from rich government officials.

The new motorcycle license plate policy is overkill. Why should the plates be bigger than car plates? And having the Land Transportation Office, which cannot even do its mandated job of providing new license plates in a timely manner, to furnish these plates is just dumb. And the penalty of six months in jail with a P50,000 fine for not having a front plate is beyond dumb. It’s criminal.

What do the comparitively rich lawmakers have against poor commuters? A motorcycle emits less pollution than a private car does. And being squished inside a van, a jeepney, the LRT or the MRT requires less road space and causes less congestion than a private car does. We are so compressed!

The government proclaims it is more fun in the Philippines, but the unhappy faces of the commuting public tell a different story. Poor commuters need solutions, not harassment from the government.

JONATHAN FOE, [email protected]

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TAGS: commuters, Edsa Traffic, Inquirer letters, Jonathan Foe, MMDA, Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, provincial buses
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