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DOTr to Push for Traffic Emergency Powers in Next Congress

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) remains in position to push for the passage of emergency powers to address the current traffic situation in the country once the incoming 18th Congress convenes following the recently concluded midterm elections.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade assured that there will be no corruption in the implementation of transportation projects once the proposed emergency powers is passed into law.

“We will pursue in a manner that it will not distract us from the primary projects kasi may deadline. Kasi ang utak ko ngayon ay magtapos ng project. Kailangan namin two and a half to three years. Kami ay gagawa lang ng tama (We will pursue in a manner that it will not distract us from the primary projects because there is a deadline. My mindset is to finish projects. We need two and a half to three years. We will do what is right),” said Tugade in an interview with reporters on the sidelines of the contract signing for the civil works of the first package of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 1 held Monday in Valenzuela City.

“The legislators should put that into their agenda. As far as we are concerned, we have submitted all the documents,” he added.

The secretary made this statement as he welcomes the intention of former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino to refile a measure pushing for emergency powers that has been pending in both chambers of Congress for more than two years.

Tolentino, who is currently among the winning circle in the senatorial race, said the emergency powers will effectively solve the current traffic congestion in the country, particularly in Metro Manila.

Nabanggit ko iyon noong campaign na kung kinakailangang ire-file iyong emergency powers, gagawin po natin ‘yan (I mentioned during the campaign that if there is a need to refile an emergency powers measure, I’ll do that),” he said in an interview over Radyo Pilipinas on Friday.

Tolentino likewise stated that he will push for the strengthening of the mandate of the MMDA in addressing Metro Manila traffic.

The Traffic Crisis Act, which is pending before Congress, will designate the Transportation Secretary as Traffic Chief who shall have power of control and supervision over land transportation agencies, including the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the proposed Metropolitan Cebu Traffic Coordinating Council and the proposed Davao traffic administrator.

The Traffic Chief shall have the power to harmonize and enforce all traffic rules and regulations to implement a unified traffic system throughout each of the metropolitan areas and implement programs that will have significant impact on addressing the traffic crisis.

From Wikimedia Commons
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