IS it really time to privatize the Edsa busway, also known as the bus carousel, on Metro Manila’s busiest road network?
Recall that months back, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime J. Bautista said that starting in June this year, the agency will start accepting bids for private companies to take over the operation of the bus carousel.
It was an offshoot mainly of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) decision to disapprove the P12-billion budget proposed by the DOTr for a continuous free ride program for the public in 2023.
It was in June 2020 when the bus carousel was launched to remedy the shortage in train capacity due to transport constraints during the pandemic. To further ease up the burden of our financially-compromised passengers, the government offered free rides in November 2020, ending on December 31, 2022.
It was last January 1 that the participating buses in the carousel program started charging fares, ranging from P46 to P52 for the route covering Monumento, Caloocan to PITX (Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange). An average of 389,579 passengers benefit from the busway system daily.
The danger in privatizing the bus carousel is the profit factor eating up the spirit of the shift from public to private.
While the government is the mandated guardian to safeguard the public’s interest at all times, not so with the private sector, whose motivation for existence is, sad to say, profit.
As Party-list Rep. France Castro of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers warned: “The planned privatization of the Edsa bus carousel would be another burden to commuters as it would mean higher bus fares.”
Not if the government would use its conscience in negotiating with profit-driven companies.
Here’s praying that Sec. Bautista, famous for his pro-poor stance, would come up with a scheme leaning more on our commuters’ benefits than anyone else’s when the Edsa busway is finally privatized.
THE recent display of Chevy models at Chevrolet Makati was a super success, thanks to the efficient marshalling by the company’s top guns led by lawyer Albert Arcilla.
With the theme “World-Class Chevrolet: The League of North American Chevys,” the event highlighted the brand’s rich heritage and featured the exceptional line-up of Chevrolet vehicles of today.
Exhibited were the North American models such as the Camaro 3LT RS and Tahoe High Country, plus a spotlight on the 2023 Corvette C8.
Chevrolet Makati-MIG1 Auto Dealership Corp. was represented by its Chairman, Cong. Michael Edgar Aglipay and Vice Chairman Ginger Rosales-Aglipay.
The Covenant Car Company Inc. (TCCCI)-Chevrolet Philippines was led by President and CEO Atty. Albert B. Arcilla, National Sales Services VP and Director Leah Avante, Marketing Communications Services EVP and Director Lyn Buena, First AVP Jun Maneze, and Business Development Services First AVP and Director Victor Delarmente.
“Today, we are glad to announce the good news that Chevrolet’s North American products like the Suburban, Tahoe and Camaro are now available,” said Arcilla. “With this development, we are confident to serve the demand for these models and we’re excited to see more of these new Chevys on the road moving forward.”
For more product information, visit www.chevrolet.com.ph.
PEE STOP Happy birthday (June 2) to Coach Dayong J. Mendoza of San Miguel Beer. A Toyota loyalist, the Coach drives a Previa and a Fortuner. Cheers!