To fast-track the solution to continuing transportation woes in the country, Senator Grace Poe called on President Rodrigo Duterte to certify the pending emergency powers bill as urgent for its approval and implementation.
Poe, the chairperson of the Senate committee on public services, said in a statement that the “fastest way” to advance Senate Bill 1284 or the proposed Traffic and Congestion Crisis Act is through a Malacañang certification, just like other urgent measures immediately passed by Congress.
“The emergency powers bill will surely move (in the Senate) if Malacañang makes it a priority and certifies it to speed up the implementation of projects to ease traffic,” said Poe who sponsored it for approval on second reading last year.
The measure seeks to cut hitches on the implementation of transportation projects such as excluding lower courts from issuing temporary restraining orders, for the duration of the emergency powers.
The committee also met with officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), demanding for their submission of their concrete traffic crisis plans to the plenary after the tax reform and budget deliberations are finished.
The agencies vowed to submit a comprehensive report on priority projects that will be implemented during the duration of the proposed emergency powers before the session break.
Poe said that there are only three weeks or nine session days left before Congress adjourns for the Christmas break.
Duterte’s certification as urgent will push Congress to pass the bill on second and third reading within the same day.
Poe said Duterte, who pitched the idea to Congress for the emergency powers versus traffic during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), could also issue marching orders to his allies in the House of Representative and the Senate to pass the bill.