Edison Bong Nebrija, the head of traffic at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, was seen in a video livestream yelling at bus passengers as he and other traffic personel tried to impose the yellow bus policy on errant drivers.
Nebrija showed in a Facebook Live video that buses along Santolan in Quezon City were not observing the yellow bus lane policy, causing the slow traffic in the morning of July 10.
But the passengers in some of the buses started to heckle him for it. Apparently losing his cool, Nebrija clapped back at the complaining commuters.
He even figured in a heated exchange with a passenger aboard one of the buses as shown in the 30-minute video.
“Kami pa minura naman,” Nebrija said in the caption.
Kami pa minura naman
Posted by Edison Bong Nebrija on Tuesday, July 9, 2019
What angered him was the mistreatment of the public to his colleagues, Nebrija explained at a press conference.
“Ang di ko lang matanggap, mga tauhan namin yun, I think even if the chairman was there, baka mas malala pa yung ginawa ni chairman,” Nebrija said.
MMDA chief Jojo Garcia, meanwhile, dared to confiscate the drivers’ licenses should they continue violating the law.
“Yung mga driver na pasaway na yan, andito kami. Hindi kami matatakot sainyo. Uubusin naming kayo kakahuli,” MMDA Chief Jojo Garcia said.
“We need to recommend to [Land Transportation Office] to suspend all their licenses, then we will do so,” he added.
Nebrija explained why that area on Metro Manila’s main highway is often stuck in heavy traffic.
He attached photos showing some buses trying to abandon their designated lanes during the inspection.
This part of Edsa Southbound in between P Tuazon and Santolan is the MECCA of all chokepoints. We are trying to line up…
“This part of Edsa Southbound in between P. Tuazon and Santolan is the mecca of all chokepoints. We are trying to line up the buses and private vehicles here so traffic will self correct itself going to Annapolis, Ortigas, Shaw, Boni and up to Makati. If we don’t, then it would be a more chaotic commute,” he said on July 13.
“Plus, of course, loading and unloading in designated zones are very important for safety and not only to the desires and convenience of commuters,” he added.
While Nebrija’s tough stance against erring drivers earned some praises online, there are those who suggested stronger penalties for the traffic violators, particularly for those with expired licenses.
Others noted the need to give fixed salaries to the drivers themselves to prevent the practice of hoarding passengers at the expense of disobeying the law.
The yellow lane policy
According to the MMDA’s policy, the first and second lanes along EDSA are for the city buses only. These lanes are called the “yellow lanes.”
Private vehicles are not allowed to use them “except when they are about to turn, provided that they start shifting lanes upon seeing the transition lane (broken white lines painted diagonally), which you can see around 50 meters away from an intersection.”
Given that these were dedicated for their use, city buses are therefore not allowed to go beyond them.
Provincial buses are also not allowed to use the yellow lanes.
Earlier this year, the agency apprehended at least 10,000 motorists who violated this measure or 2,000 violators per day.
Nebrija said that 70% of them were private motorists while 30% were public buses or other transport systems.