Traffic powers bill to reach Senate floor by end of Nov.—Poe
A bill granting President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers to address the traffic problem in the country would hopefully reach the Senate floor by end of the month, Senator Grace Poe said on Wednesday.
“We are targeting end of November for sponsorship speech. From that point, it will depend on the body how fast the approval will be,” Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, said in a text message.
This after the senator met Tuesday with her counterpart in the House of Representatives to discuss the proposed measure and how they could fast-track its approval.
And after the meeting, Poe said she found the House’s version of the bill “very well thought of and thorough.”
“We will be able to consolidate some of them,” she said.
“The House version clarifies and strengthens certain laws instead of an outright EP (emergency power) to expedite procurement and other necessary means to roll out projects,” Poe added.
Her committee had already terminated its public hearing but it continues to hold technical working group meetings.
But Poe said she hopes to meet with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to discuss the list of transport projects that the government plans to implement under the proposed emergency powers.
“Hinihiling namin na magkita kami sapagkat noong nag-umpisa halos P3 trilyon lamang ang budget namin para dito. Tapos, sa kalaunan pataas na ng pataas hanggang sa P8 trilyon na iyong mga sinasabi niyang magiging proyekto. Kaya nais naming linawin,” she said in an interview over DZMM before she met with her counterparts.
(We wish to meet because initially, the budget for this is only around P3 trillion. Then, the budget for the projects gradually increased to P8 trillion. We want to make it clear.)
Poe reiterated that the approval of the bill would not immediately ease the traffic problem in the country.
“Kahit ito po ay ibigay ko bukas ay hindi po kayo makakaramdam kaagad ng pag-ibsan ng trapiko sapagkat talagang napabayaan itong programang ito na ang daming kailangan na ayusin (Even if I grant this tomorrow, the public will not be able to feel immediate ease in traffic because this program has been neglected and many issues have to be addressed), “ she said. RAM
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