House to start plenary debate on traffic powers by early February
The House of Representatives may start its plenary discussions on a measure granting emergency powers for traffic by early February, Catanduanes Representative Cesar Sarmiento said on Monday.
Sarmiento said the House committee on transportation, which he chairs, would immediately act on the measure when Congress resumes its sessions on January 16.
“January 18 po, first meeting ng (of the) committee, aming tatalakayin yan (we will discuss that) and we will act accordingly dun sa side ng (on the side of the) House Traffic Crisis Act,” he said in an interview over DZMM.
“Dito po sa lower house, maaksyunan po itong version namin this January and then siguro early part of February for discussion, for debate ng plenary,” the lawmaker added.
(Here in the lower house, our version might be acted upon this January and then probably by early February [it could proceed] for discussion, for plenary debate.)
Sarmiento said he would coordinate with Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, during the remaining two-week break of Congress to discuss the provisions of the measure that the chambers could reconcile.
“Para pagdating po ng bicam ay maganda po ang ating discussion,” he said.
([I will do this] so that we could have a good discussion during the [bicameral conference].)
Poe’s committee had already approved the measure and she reported it out to the plenary before Congress took a break last December 14.
In the House version of the measure, Sarmiento said there is a provision that would require the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to submit a list of priority projects that would immediately address the traffic problem within 90 days.
The lawmaker noted that the 2017 budget did not contain funding for specific projects that would ease the worsening traffic in the country.
“So hahanapan po natin yan. Siguro by way of a supplemental budget, hahanapan po ng Kongreso at ng Senado,” Sarmiento added.
(We will find a way [to fund them]. Perhaps by way of supplemental budget, the Congress and the Senate will settle it.) CDG
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