Emergency powers to have defined scope, time frame–Poe
Senator Grace Poe said emergency powers for President Rodrigo Duterte to address massive problems in the transport sector will have a specific time frame, clear and specific scope averting fears it will be used to curtail freedom.
Poe, head of the Senate Committee on Public Services, clarified that Senate and Congress will also have the right to suspend the emergency powers of Duterte once it is used for other purposes.
Duterte has asked Congress and Senate to grant him emergency powers to address the worsening traffic problems in Metro Manila.
But some critics raised fear that emergency powers will lead to more extrajudicial killings of drug suspects and curtailment of freedom.
“We need two weeks to prepare (our recommendation), we plan to invite mayors to know the impact on their constituencies,” said Poe in an interview at the sidelines of the Senate hearing on granting emergency powers to Duterte.
“We have to set a deadline and scope,” said Poe, as she stressed “the powers of Senate and Congress to suspend the emergency powers if it’s not properly implemented.”
Offhand, Senator Poe believes emergency powers are needed in the acquisition of right of way to speed up the infrastructure projects that will improve the country’s transport system.
Various transport groups aired concerns such as corruption in local government and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) that led to the proliferation of “kolorum” or unregistered vehicles plying major routes in Metro Manila.
Senator Poe also urged the MMDA to address the filthy and “depressing” situation in the bus terminal along coastal road being rented for P1.2 million per month.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr), the agency proponent of the emergency powers for President Duterte, said it needs a total of P200 billion to cover infrastructure projects, of which P150 billion was intended for a railway system that will decongest Metro Manila roads. CDG/rga
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