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Tugade pushes emergency powers

The government is determined to complete several major infrastructure projects within President Duterte’s term but would need emergency powers to hasten their implementation.

Transportation and Communications Secretary Arthur Tugade has appealed anew to Congress to grant emergency powers to Duterte to improve the country’s transportation network and ease Metro Manila’s traffic conditions.

Tugade assured that the implementation of the projects, including railways, urban mass transport, bridges, airports, and seaports, would be transparent and corruption-free as people can monitor the status on “a freedom of information portal.”

“We need the emergency powers to expedite the projects,” Tugade said in Filipino during a Palace press briefing.
“But regardless the powers are given or not, we will do our best although there might be some delay. Is the population willing to wait some more?” Tugade said.

“We are asking from window of two years. We are not asking for emergency powers for the next five years,” the Transportation chief said.

Such emergency powers would supposedly allow the government to shorten bureaucratic rules to hasten the construction of large-scale infrastructure projects.

Among the major projects lined up by the government are the Sta. Monica-Lawton-BGC Link Bridge, UP-Miriam-Ateneo Viaduct; Iloilo-Guimaras-Negros-Cebu Link Bridge; Davao City Bypass Construction Project; NLEX-SLEX Connector Road; Manila-Clark Railway, Mindanao Railway, Metro Manila Bus Rapid Train System, Regional Airport Development, Ro-Ro Ports Development, Clark International Airport New Terminal Building, Clark Green City, BGC to NAIA Bus Rapid Transit System, and Subic-Clark Cargo Railway Project. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)