19 May 2015
Senator Pia slams MMDA for ‘whimsical’ memorandum circular restricting running events on Roxas Boulevard
Senator Pia S. Cayetano has called on the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to suspend the implementation of its controversial memorandum circular which she said would “arbitrarily restrict” the staging of running events along Roxas Boulevard.
The senator has filed Philippine Senate Resolution (PSR) 1353 calling for a Senate inquiry into MMDA’s Memorandum Circular No. 03, series of 2015 (MC 03-2015).
Issued on March 31, 2015, the MMDA memorandum regulates the use of Roxas Boulevard by way of issuance of Roadway Private Utilization Permit. Under the MMDA directive, the permit will only be issued by the agency for activities that are limited to “historical, cultural, United Nation advocacies, environment, climate change issues and general societal persuasions that will uplift humanity.”
Cayetano lambasted the MMDA for failing to hold consultations with all affected stakeholders prior to the issuance of the memorandum.
Public consultations, she added, would have ensured that the new policy would be fair, transparent and would not “unduly restrict events that promote health and wellness” and “negate the gains of the running community through the years.”
“Despite numerous attempts by my office to seek an audience with the MMDA chairman and his staff for a briefing on the rationale and objectives of their memorandum, our requests were not accommodated, and neither were we furnished with a copy of the guidelines,” she related.
“For the past decades, Roxas Boulevard has been the venue for runs and races, including national events and international events and with participants from around the country and around the world.”
“Running events are usually held at dawn on weekends when traffic is extremely light,” she added.
“There is a pressing concern on the effects of the issuance of MC 03-2015 on these fun runs and races which cater to all citizens…all of whom have the common goal of promoting a public good – a healthy citizenry.”
Aside from running events, MC 03-2015 also regulates filming, motorcades, and other sports events along the boulevard which stretches through the shoreline of Manila Bay from Manila to Pasay.
The senator reminded MMDA that its regulation of fun runs and similar activities “should have clear and specific guidelines so that [its] implementation will not be arbitrary.”
She pointed out that the memorandum contradicts other MMDA projects promoting a healthy lifestyle, such as putting up bike lanes and clearing sidewalks of obstructions to encourage more people to walk, run, or use a bike in the metropolis.
“It would seem that what MMDA wants is to grant to itself the power to issue permits to a selected few, while marginalizing other activities that promote health and wellness, including fun runs and races. This is not acceptable.” #
Sen. Cayetano asks MMDA: Why restrict running events on Roxas Boulevard?
Read: Full text of Philippine Senate Resolution No. 1353 HERE