Palace OK with emergency powers for Duterte to hasten ‘Build’ projects
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang welcomed Thursday the bill filed by Albay Rep. Joey Salceda that would grant President Rodrigo Duterte special powers “in speeding up the implementation” of the “Build, Build, Build” program of his administration.
Salceda filed House Bill 5456 on Wednesday, granting Duterte “Special Powers to urgently utilize all necessary government resources, exercise police power, and employ executive actions and measures to ensure the effective implementation, reconfiguration, and harmonization of national and local government projects.”
Sought for comment, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a Palace briefing said, “I think the bill of Congressman Salceda is good.”
“Because one of the reasons why projects get delayed is the right of way. The owners do not agree. The others file TRO (temporary restraining order). But if there is power, work will run smoothly,” he added.
As early as July 2016, Duterte asked Congress in his first State of the Nation Address (Sona) for an emergency power to solve traffic in Metro Manila.
He said the emergency power would mean that he could open up blocked roads and construct roads and train lines.
But three years into his presidency, Congress has not granted him emergency powers.
In his public speeches, Duterte said he no longer wants an emergency power, saying “Let Edsa rot there.”
The flagship infrastructure projects of the administration are seen to solve the monstrous traffic plaguing Metro Manila but opposition Sen. Franklin Drilon said the multi-trillion “Build, Build, Build” program is a “dismal failure.”
Panelo has slammed Drilon and said his remark was “baseless.”
Edited by MUF
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