MANILA -- A party-list group filed a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday and sought to stop the implementation of the ban on provincial buses along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA).

In its 44-page petition, the AKO-Bicol Party List urged the SC to stop the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) from implementing the ban and from revoking the operation permits of bus terminals and other public utility vehicles.

The measure had been part of MMDA's efforts to decongest traffic along EDSA which stretches from Pasay City in the south to Quezon City in the north.

The group's representative, Ronaldo Ang, said the ban will unduly affect the more than 3,300 provincial buses ferrying passengers from out of the capital, although it is a miniscule number of the 367,000 daily vehicle volume.

The group's lawyer Joselito Guianan Chan, sought the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or a temporary restraining order as an immediate relief against the implementation of MMDA regulation No. 19-002, Series of 2019.

The petitioner also asked the Court to eventually declare the said regulation null and void for being contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.

It argued that the revocation of business permits granted to all public utility bus terminals and operators is tantamount to an exercise of police power, which the MMDA and the Metro Manila Council, composed of all the mayors in the metropolis, do not possess.

“There is no single word or syllables in R.A. No. 7924 (the law creating MMDA) that grants respondent MMDA police power, let alone legislative power. Even respondent MMC has not been delegated any legislative power,” the petitioner insisted.

It noted that provincial buses are not the main cause of traffic congestion along EDSA but city buses and private motor vehicles.

The group pointed out that the planned closure of provincial bus terminals would contravene the Public Service Act and related laws, which mandate public utilities to provide and maintain their own terminals as a requisite for the privilege of operating as common carriers. (PNA)