However, the metro authority’s later statement comes after the capital region saw fewer vehicles than usual due to the rising cost of fuel across the country.
In an interview, the agency said that it monitored 392,000 vehicles on EDSA on June 9, which was lower in contrast to the 417,000 tallied last May 5.
“Yung mga may sasakyan, instead na magdala pa ng mga vehicles ng sariling pribado, ay sumasakay na lang sa pampublikong transportasyon (those who own private vehicles opt to ride public transportation instead of bringing their own),” MMDA Chairman Romando Artes said.
For months, the country has been hit by the continuous rising costs of fuel, which have led to woes in public transportation.
Last week, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) approved a provisional P1-hike on jeepney fares to compensate drivers for the higher fuel prices.
However, transport group Piston National President Mody Florandasaid that the P1 fare hike “is not enough.” In recent weeks, some jeepney drivers have halted their operations to avoid driving at a loss.
The Inter-Agency Council on Traffic appealed to drivers and operators to reconsider their operation halt despite the possible loss in earnings to "provide public service" to the public.
In light of the situation, public transportation advocacy group Move as One Coalition (MOAC) said that the transport sector is in a “deadly crisis.”
“More commuters are experiencing long lines, waiting times, and crowded commutes in enclosed spaces, and are at-risk for COVID-19,” MOAC said. The advocacy group asserted that the only “sustainable way” to address the crisis is to “wean the country’s dependence on oil.”
Basti Evangelista is a news and opinion writer who focuses on Philippine national politics and sectoral issues. His personal advocacy includes press freedom and social justice.
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