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Solons back emergency powers for Duterte to solve traffic woes

Lawmakers are in favor of granting emergency powers to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to effectively address traffic woes in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. and Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, said they will not think twice in supporting the proposed emergency powers for the incoming chief executive to solve the monstrous traffic situation in Metro Manila.

“Yes, let us give him emergency power, but we have to specify these powers,” Belmonte told reporters yesterday after leading the inauguration of the newly-built House Legislative Library, Archives and Museum Building which would house the first and only electronic legislative library in the country.

But, he was cold on the proposal to suspend the biddings and skirt the procurement processes for two years.

“Mas maganda may bidding. Medyo complicated ’yung doing away with the public bidding,” Belmonte said.

Incoming Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the emergency powers include the possible skirting of the biddings.

He said the Duterte’s legal team is now drafting the proposed emergency powers to solve heavy traffic and other transportation problems.

Castelo, a Liberal Party stalwart, said he is “100-percent supportive” of proposal granting emergency powers to the incoming president.

“Drastic problems requires drastic solutions,” he said in a separate interview.

He said Mr. Duterte himself is the key to solve the country’s lingering traffic woes, which cost the Philippines R2 billion a day.

“Duterte himself should serve as our traffic czar,” he said.

He said the rampant corruption in the concerned agencies like Land Transportation Office (LTO) should be stamped out.

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