Congress ‘OK’ with emergency powers for Duterte
The House of Representatives has approved “in principle” emergency powers for President Duterte to address the serious land and air traffic congestion problems in Metro Manila.
Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, chair of the House committee on transportation, said Thursday members agreed on the move in order to address what has become a national crisis.
“In principle, we will grant him emergency powers,” Sarmiento told reporters after emerging from a committee meeting.
He, however, said they would make sure the grant of emergency powers would be constitutionally sound so it could not be questioned later in the Supreme Court.
“I am in agreement with granting the President emergency powers but we will see to it that it will pass the constitutionality test,” Sarmiento said.
The announcement came after a bloc of lawmakers from Eastern Visayas called for the grant of emergency powers to bring a final and immediate solution to traffic congestion which they said had “aggravated the people’s daily economic activity.”
“We believe that the President, through emergency powers, will be able to deal with incongruent national and local government policies and it will serve as the key to solve the traffic crisis once and for all,” the 14-member bloc led by Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said in a statement.
They said “the traffic crisis has projected such a grim image of Metro Manila as to adversely impact the tourism industry that is already beset by the threat of terrorism.”
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