List of projects under emergency powers submitted to Senate—Poe
The Department of Transportation has finally submitted to the Senate its detailed plan of actions, including the list of projects that the government would implement to address the traffic crisis in the country under the emergency powers that they want Congress to grant to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Copies of a 64-page list of projects and a draft bill from the DOTr were released to the media on Monday by the office of Senator Grace Poe, who is presiding over the hearing on the proposed emergency powers as chair of the Senate committee on public services.
Poe said her office received the documents last September 2.
In the draft bill, the senator said, the DOTr is proposing the abolition of the power of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and other agencies over traffic management.
“Ang maliwanag dito, para sa kaalaman ng ating mga kababayan, bubuwagin na ang kapangyarihan ng LTO, LTFRB, pati ang MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) at mga local government units pagdating sa pagma-manage ng traffic,” she told reporters.
(What’s clear here, for the knowledge of our countrymen, the power of the the LTO, LTFRB, and the MMDA as well as the local government units will be abolished when it comes to managing traffic.)
“Ito ay magkakaroon na ng isang central authority ng traffic na pamumunuan ng DOTr. Siguro iyan ay si Sec. Tugade at ang kanyang mga maa-appoint dito. Importante na mag-usapusap ang mga ibang ahensya ng gobyerno kung paano magkakaroon ng mas maayos na transition ukol dito,” she added, referring to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
(There will be a central authority on traffic which will be headed by DOTr. This may be Sec. Tugade and his appointees. It’s important that the other government agencies discuss how the proper transition will take place regarding this.)
Poe clarified that only the power over traffic management of certain agencies would be abolished, and not their other functions.
“Ang dahilan kaya nila kailangan ng emergency powers ay ito: magkaroon ng central traffic agency; magkaroon ng mas mabilis na proseso sa pagbili ng mga kailangan nila na mga kagamitan o pagimplementa ng mga proyekto para mas madali ang procurement. Pangatlo, para maiwasan ang mga ligal na balakid katulad ng mga TRO mula sa mga lower courts,” she pointed out.
(The reason why they need emergency powers is this: there will be a central traffic agency; there will be a faster process in buying the needed equipment or implementing projects for easy procurement. Third, so that we can avoid legal obstacles such as TROs from lower courts.)
While the DOTr enumerated the list of projects in Metro Manila, Poe noted that it did not provide specific traffic plans for highly urbanized areas like Cebu and Davao.
Now that the DOTr has submitted the list of projects to address the traffic problem, Poe said a technical working group can now start its work on September 8.
But her committee, she said, will resume its hearing on the proposed emergency powers on September 22.
Poe reiterated her desire to approve the proposal at least in the Senate before Christmas.
“Gusto kong ibigay na iyan at dito sa Senado makikita niyo minamadali na natin; kaya nga napilitan rin siguro ang DOTr noong ating pinostpone ang hearing dahil ayaw naman natin na puro spekulasyon at drawing lang ang ating pinag-uusapan sa hearing. Sayang ang oras nating lahat imbes na ginugugol sa paggagawa ng tunay na plano,”she said.
(I want to approve it, and here in the Senate you can see how we’re rushing it; that’s probably why the DOTr was forced when we postponed the hearing because we don’t want to discuss just speculations in the hearing. It’s a waste of our time that could be spent in creating real plans.)
“Ang aking balak sa Senado ay bago mag Pasko maibigay na, maaprubahan na iyan dito pero kahit na aprubahan pa natin iyan dito sa Senado, hindi iyan maiimplementa agad ng DOTr sapagka’t kahit na may emergency powers pa ang procurement process, hindi mo rin iyan magagawa ng isang linggo o dalawang linggo. Bakit? Dahil maghahanap ka pa ng mga suppliers para dito,” Poe added.
(My intention in the Senate is that it would be approved before Christmas but even if it’s already approved in the Senate, DOTr won’t implement it immediately because even though there’s already emergency powers in the procurement process, it can’t be done in a week or two. Why? Because you still need to look for suppliers.) JE/rga
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