End commuters’ agony, pass emergency powers for traffic — Poe
“Ending the daily agony and sufferings of our commuters is long overdue,” so said Senator Grace Poe on Monday as she pressed anew for the passage of the proposed emergency powers law for traffic.
Poe remained optimistic that Senate Bill No. 1284 or the proposed Traffic and Congestion Crisis Act would hurdle the approval of the Senate before the 17th Congress adjourns its first regular session in June.
“Ending the daily agony and sufferings of our commuters is long overdue. Any further delay in solving the traffic crisis is denying them the basic rights and due service they deserve to get from government,” she said in a statement.
“While we agree to the emergency powers, we shall ensure that such will be FOI-compliant, fiscally responsible and adhering to deadlines,” she added.
As chair of the Senate committee on public services and principal author of the bill, Poe sponsored the measure in the plenary as early as December 14 last year. The bill, however, was still in the period of interpellation when Congress went on a break last March 15.
The senator said she expects the chamber to speed up deliberations on the measure when it resumes its sessions on May 2 so they could pass it before the June 2 adjournment of Congress.
At the House of Representatives, the bill has already been approved at the committee level but the lower chamber has yet to start its plenary debates.
“Palagi kong pinapaalala at ako’y nagsalita na rin sa plenaryo na mawawalan ito ng saysay pag hindi natin naipasa agad, kaya nga ito ay emergency,” Poe said.
Pending the approval of the bill, the senator called on concerned agencies to implement immediate solutions to address the worsening traffic situation and ease commuter woes.
“Pinapaalala ko rin sa iba’t ibang mga sangay ng gobyerno na nakasentro sa paglutas ng problema ng traffic na hindi naman kailangang hintayin ang emergency powers para magkaroon ng agarang solusyon sa ibang mga problema natin, katulad ng mga illegally parked vehicles,” she said.
Poe said the bill, if enacted into law, would authorize the President, through his appointed Traffic Crisis Manager, to use alternative methods of procurement under existing laws to expedite the implementation of key transportation projects.
The measure, which covers land, sea and air transport, would also set parameters on how to exercise the emergency powers, the senator added. CBB/rga
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