MANILA - Former President Joseph ''Erap'' Estrada insisted Tuesday that President Rodrigo Duterte does not need emergency powers to solve the crippling traffic situation in Metro Manila.
Estrada, now mayor of Manila, said local officials themselves can ease traffic congestion in their areas.
"Hindi naman kailangan magkaroon ng emergency [powers]. Patututukan lang ang batas. Pag sinabing kalsada, hindi dapat pagtindahan, itong kalsada ginawa para sa daanan ng mga sasakyan -- 'yun lang," he said.
Duterte on Monday again urged Congress to grant him emergency powers to fix traffic jams that are costing the country P2.4 billion daily.
"If you give it fine, if not, we take the longer route, slowly, and tanggapin ko 'yung pagmumura ninyo," he told lawmakers during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Flood-prone roads, neglected transportation infrastructure and rundown trains have made commuting a daily misery in the metropolis.
In Manila, many roads are dotted with illegally parked cars and vendors which create traffic choke points.
Estrada himself recently took the lead in the city's massive clean-up drive and clearing operations.
Last week, the mayor oversaw the clearing of illegal stalls in the Divisoria and Pedro Gil areas.
DRONE VIDEO: Divisoria without illegal vendors
Clearing operations continued today in the crowded Blumentritt area, and will be also held in Quiapo district next week. -- Report from Dennis Datu, DZMM