MMDA: With traffic emergency powers, gov’t can speed up processes
MANILA, Philippines — Should emergency powers be granted to President Rodrigo Duterte, it will benefit the government as it can enter into deals without public bidding to solve traffic problems, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jojo Garcia said Wednesday.
“Kung may emergency power, mas mapapadali sa lahat ng proseso (The emergency power may help speed up processes),” Garcia said in a press conference at the MMDA headquarters.
However, he said it is up to Congress to decide if the President will be given emergency powers to solve the country’s traffic woes.
“Kung debatable yan (If it is debatable), it’s up to them to enable this one,” Garcia said, adding that whether there is an emergency power or not, they have a job to do.
Recently, Senate Bill No. 213 or the Special Emergency Power Act was filed in the 18th Congress. Under the bill, the President is authorized to utilize all necessary government resources, exercise police power and employ executive actions and measures to solve the traffic problem.
It will cover land, air, and sea traffic in Metro Manila, Metropolitan Cebu, Davao City, Cagayan de Oro, and other highly urbanized cities.
The bill will also enable the government to enter into deals without public bidding to solve traffic problems.
However, Senator Grace Poe said that the emergency power should not be treated as a “magic pill or magic bullet.” She cautioned that it may lead to corruption.
When asked to comment on Poe’s concern, Garcia answered: “Basta po I can assure sa agency po ng MMDA under the leadership of Chairman [Danilo] Lim, na wala naman pong pagbibintang na mangyayari sa amin (I can give an assurance that the MMDA under the leadership of Chairman Lim that will not happen).”/ee
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