MANILA - Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Danilo Lim said he may support giving emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte if this will help speed up the completion of infrastructure projects meant to decongest the metropolis.
Lim said emergency powers that would hasten the rollout of additional roads, bridges, flyovers and railways would benefit Metro Manila.
"Kung ang emergency power ay mapapabilis 'yong mga proyektong ganyan, na makakadagdag ng espasyo, maganda iyan."
Freshman Sen. Francis Tolentino, Lim's predecessor as MMDA chair, filed a bill that described traffic jams as a national emergency and proposed the appointment of a traffic czar along with the creation of a traffic crisis action and mobilization.
Sen. Grace Poe urged for the bill to be certified as urgent but cautioned it was not a "magic pill" for traffic woes.
SONA, earthquake drill preparations
Meanwhile, the MMDA relayed that it gearing up for three events in the coming weeks--a transport holiday by public utility vehicle groups on Monday, the State of the Nation Address on July 22, and the Metro Manila Shake Drill on July 27.
Transport group ACTO (Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization) announced it would hold a protest on Monday at the LTFRB against certain aspects of the PUV modernization plan.
For the President's 4th SONA, Lim said a bigger group which includes the MMDA is handling the preparations for traffic.
"Hindi lang MMDA iyan. May contribution tayo, magpo-provide tayo ng tao, may mga kalsada na tayo magha-handle, basta importante MMDA will be there to be part."
Lim said the upcoming earthquake preparedness drill would be held before dawn as another alternate scenario of "the Big One", which cannot be predicted.
The agency announced the drill would take place at 4 a.m. on Saturday, July 27.
Lim said this was part of the changing mood of the annual shake drill.
"Pinaplano natin madaling-araw, tingnan natin kung magigising ba yung mga kababayan natin para makipag-participate sa exercise na ito."
Last year, the shake drill was unscheduled--a departure from the previous 3 announced drills. It still proceeded despite rainy weather.