MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte should certify as urgent a new bill seeking emergency powers for him to deal with the traffic scourge, Sen. Grace Poe said Thursday.
Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, said the transportation department this time must specify projects as well as provide a management plan to ease the strain of construction projects on traffic congestion.
“We were all for passing the bill last Congress, if not for the failure of the DOTr to submit to us the list of projects that will be covered by the grant of powers. Everything must be well-defined. Hindi puwede ang blanket grant of emergency powers under the Constitution,” Poe said in a statement.
“We will also need the support of the President to rally his troops in both Houses to support the bill. If the administration wants it, they can certify it as urgent.”
Sen. Francis Tolentino, Duterte's former political adviser, filed the new emergency powers bill.
“Ipapaliwanag din natin nang mas mainam ito, dahil ngayon, nakikita natin maraming proyektong halos patapos na,” Tolentino told reporters on Wednesday.
(We will explain it better this time, especially now that many projects are nearing completion.)
Under Tolentino's measure, the transportation secretary will serve as the country's traffic crisis czar, who will be under the direct control of the President.