Solving traffic jams possible but slow sans Duterte emergency powers — Tugade
MANILA, Philippines — Solving Metro Manila’s monstrous traffic jams is possible, but will be slower, if President Rodrigo Duterte will not be granted emergency powers, Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade said Thursday.
Tugade renewed his call for the measure during the budget defense of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) before the House appropriations committee upon Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman’s questioning.
“Kung without any grant [of emergency powers], mai-implement? Oho. Pero ‘yung implementasyon ho mabagal. Baka matapos na ho ‘yung termino [ni Duterte] hindi pa na-iimplement,” Tugade said.
Tugade said the grant of emergency powers would expedite the procurement process and resolution of right-of-way issues related to programs. He also clarified that the special power would only last for around two to three years and could still be reviewed by Congress to prevent corruption and abuse.
“While the grant of emergency power is limited, we are not removing the oversight power of Congress,” Tugade added.
Lagman, however, said existing laws are already in place to prevent delays in government projects like those prohibiting the issuance of temporary restraining order or injunction against state projects.
Bills seeking to grant Duterte emergency powers were filed in the 17th Congress but have failed to prosper in the Senate amid questions on its effectivity to address Metro’s traffic gridlock. The House-approved “Traffic Crisis Act” designates Tugade as the Traffic Chief with special powers.
In the current 18th Congress, at least three bills granting emergency powers to Duterte have been filed in the House while Sen. Francis Tolentino filed the same in the upper chamber. /muf
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