‘Un-cooperative’ DOTr delaying emergency powers — Alvarez
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday slammed the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for making it difficult for Congress to pass the emergency powers to address the traffic crisis.
In a DZMM radio interview, Alvarez said the House of Representatives would not be able to pass the “Traffic Crisis” bill before the year ends because the DoTr was not being cooperative.
“Yung emergency powers, medyo mahihirapan pa ng kaunti yun dahil nga hindi naman naging cooperative yung DOTr, kailangan nating mailatag nila kung ano ang gagawin nila para alam naman ng Kongreso kung ano ang emergency powers ang puwedeng ibigay natin,” Alvarez said.
(It would be difficult to pass the emergency powers because the DOTr was not being cooperative. They need to lay down what they intend to do so that Congress knows what are the emergency powers that would be given to them.)
Alvarez, the principal author of the bill, said the DOTr needs to lay down its specific plan to address the traffic crisis because the proposed measure does not intend to give a blanket authority to the department.
“In fact, ako yung principal author ng bill na iyan, ngunit hindi naman pupuwede na bigyan natin sila ng blanket authority na emergency powers nang hindi natin inaalam kung ano ba ang plano. Kasi kung walang plano, paano iyan?” Alvarez said.
(In fact, I am a principal author of the bill. But it doesn’t mean we will give them blanket authority on the emergency powers without knowing what are their plans. If there is no plan, how is that?)
Alvarez, who served as transportation secretary under the Arroyo administration, urged the transportation department to give specific plans.
He said the bill would give the department powers to address the right of way disputes, as well as terminate previous contracts without resorting to legislative contracts.
“Let’s give specific plans. You want to address yung traffic problems natin, ano ba yung mga iniisip niyong gawin? Ayun, tapos yung mga right of way, ilalagay natin iyan, yung power to shut down a previous contract, ilagay natin iyan. Pero yung mga legislative contracts na iyan, medyo delikado tayo diyan,” he said.
(Let’s give specific plans. You want to address the traffic problem, what do you intend to do? The right of way, let’s put that in, the power to shut down a previous contract, let’s put that too. But on the legislative contracts, that would be too dangerous to tackle.)
Earlier, Alvarez urged three DOTr undersecretaries to resign from their posts for conflict of interest due to their links to the private sector: Undersecretary for Railway Noel Kintanar, Undersecretary for Air Operations Bobby Lim, and Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Raoul Creencia.
Kintanar was assistant vice president and executive director for Ayala Corp. before being appointed undersecretary, while Lim was country manager for International Air Transport Association and Creencia served as a government corporate counsel.
Kintanar has reportedly offered to resign, Inquirer’s Bizz Buzz reported.
Alvarez welcomed Railways Undersecretary Kintanar’s reported resignation.
“Kung nag-resign man, maraming salamat at marami namang ibang capable diyan. Isipin mo, 100 million Filipinos na tayo ngayon, more or less. Imposible namang walang isa diyan na marunong na marunong diyan sa rail na iyan,” Alvarez said.
(If he did resign, thank you. There are more capable ones out there. We have 100 million Filipinos, more or less. It’s impossible that there is no one there who knows the problems on rail).
“Hindi naman mahirap na trabaho iyan. Ang importante lang talagang yung puso mo ay para sa bayan,” he added.
(It’s not that difficult of a job. What’s important is you have your country’s interests at heart.)
Alvarez earlier accused the DOTr of “dribbling” projects which could have been implemented immediately without the need for emergency powers, citing those for the supply of drivers’ licenses and the mass rail transit supplies and services.
Congress is mulling the grant of special powers to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade as traffic chief to solve the traffic crisis in the metropolitan areas of Manila, Cebu and Davao.
Besides giving Tugade a variety of powers to resolve the traffic crisis, the bill also seeks to require transport officials to take up mass transportation. CBB
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