Solon wants ‘emergency brake’ not special powers for Duterte on ‘Build’ program
MANILA, Philippines — The Duterte administration should “step on the emergency brake” for its “Build, Build, Build” program, instead of asking for special powers for the President to hasten its implementation, a Bayan Muna solon said Thursday.
A bill seeking to give President Rodrigo Duterte special powers to fast-track the implementation of his administration’s “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program has been filed recently in the House of Representatives.
The bill supposedly seeks to remove certain hindrances to the implementation of projects such as right-of-way issues and “rigidities in procurement.”
“What is needed now is for the Duterte administration to step on the ‘emergency brake’ of its ambitious but mostly debt-driven infrastructure program and not a grant of emergency powers,” House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said in a statement.
He noted that current laws on procurement are in place to prevent corruption and violations of human rights.
Zarate also questioned how the administration’s “default answer” to major problems in the country, which was to ask for special or emergency powers “even if the executive has vast powers at its disposal to address the crisis.”
“Is this proposed new emergency power for Pres. Duterte geared really to fast track the BBB projects, or so that they can fast track the demolition and displacement of affected urban poor communities with impunity?” he said.
“Or, is this another scheme of some unscrupulous individuals to make a profit?” Zarate added.
The proposal giving the President special powers for the BBB program, Zarate said, should be cautiously studied as it could bring more problems to the country.
“Hindi uubra na kada may gusto ang administrasyon ay emergency powers na lang palagi ang hinihingi (It won’t work that whenever the government wants something, they would always ask for emergency powers),” the Bayan Muna representative said.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano himself was not inclined to support the proposal of giving the President special powers to hasten the success of the government’s infrastructure programs.
He said that it will “not obtain its objective anymore” as it should have been given during the first months of Duterte’s term.
“… the President already said ayaw na niya ng emergency o special powers. I mean, hindi ibinigay nung time na dapat binigay so you know, it will have some advantage pero kumbaga, it will not attain its objective anymore,” Cayetano said in an interview in Tagaytay City on Thursday.
(… the President already said he no longer wants emergency or special powers. I mean, it was not given during the time that it should have been given, so you know, it will have some advantage but it will not attain its objective anymore.)
Edited by JPV
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