MANILA - The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is being pushed to deploy "Pothole Patching Patrols" that will repair minor road damage round-the-clock.
The suggestion comes as lawmakers seek for more immediate and cheaper remedies to solve road congestion while the Department of Transportation works on a more detailed proposition on why emergency powers should be granted to the executive branch.
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Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said the DPWH has "the mandate, the money, and the men" to send out work crews "to search and repair" potholes that hamper the flow of traffic, especially during the rainy season.
"All they need is a small truck that will carry the asphalt, and workers who can vulcanize potholes," Recto said.
Aside from the P40.6-billion budget for maintenance and repair of national roads, the DPWH can also tap into the Motor Vehicle User's Charge (MVUC) collections that are earmarked for road maintenance.
This year's MVUC collection sourced from car registration fees is expected to climb to P14.4 billion from last year's projected P13 billion.
Twenty-seven percent or 2.31 million out of the 8.7 million motor vehicles in the country ply NCR's 2,403 kilometers of roads. Not all of the roads are maintained by the DPWH as most are under the care of local governments.
Recto said not all traffic-abatement solutions would require special powers as some, like immediately repairing potholes, only "require common sense."