Hasten ‘Build, Build, Build’ program? Give Duterte special powers – solon
MANILA, Philippines — A bill seeking to give President Rodrigo Duterte special powers to expedite the implementation of his administration’s “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program has been filed in the House of Representatives.
Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda on Wednesday filed House Bill No. 5456, which seeks to give Duterte special powers to “utilize all necessary government resources, exercise police power, and employ executive actions and measures to ensure the effective implementation” of the 75 flagship projects under the Duterte’s administration’s ambitious infrastructure program.
Under Section 13 of the proposed measure, the special powers for Duterte will be “valid and effective for a period of three (3) years.”
According to the bill, giving special powers to the President would remove certain hindrances to the implementation of projects such as right-of-way issues and “rigidities in procurement.”
Under the proposal, Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) chairman Vince Dizon will be designated as Flagship Program Manager who will be tasked with the overall management, supervision, and control of the program.
The powers of the Flagship Project Manager include the following:
- To modify, amend or expand the function of permit-issuing agencies, to override their permits and licenses, including ordinances of affected local government units resolutions, land and homeowners associations
- To integrate different procurement modes in easing the implementation of the program
- To operate and takeover of necessary public transport systems and infrastructures
- To transfer and relocate of affected communities
- To construct structures or implement roadworks that would improve traffic flow affected by the construction of the projects
- To reclaim and relocate the current occupant, free of charge, but subject to applicable resettlement laws and policies, of all properties owned by or forming part of the right of way
- To acquire any land or property for the purpose of developing future projects, in order to minimize cost of acquisition, and maximize value and capture opportunities for government
House Bill No. 5456 also disallows courts – except the Supreme Court – to issue temporary restraining orders or preliminary injunctions that would impede the speedy implementation of the projects.
An oversight committee will likewise be established in both chambers of Congress to monitor the implementation of the measure, should it be enacted into law, the proposed measure also states.
It further tasks the executive department to submit a quarterly report to Congress regarding the implementation of the measure.
Salceda filed the bill a day after Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon slammed the government’s BBB program as a “dismal failure” as he pointed out that only nine out of 75 flagship projects of the Duterte administration are under construction.
“Instead of declaring it, pronouncing it a failure, I think Congress is duty-bound to give the President everything he needs because the duty of any administration is to prompt positive consequences in the life of ordinary people,” Salceda said in a press conference on Wednesday.
“Let us take away from the President any alibi or pretext or excuse for not being able to deliver all his promises on his first three years in the administration,” he added.
Edited by KGA
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