Press Release
August 8, 2016

On Emergency Powers Marathon Hearings

Sen. Grace Poe wants to know the government's concrete plans to solve the worsening traffic in Metro Manila when the Senate starts its hearings on Wednesday on proposals seeking to grant emergency powers to address the transport crisis.

"Mayroon na bang solusyon para maging ligtas, abot-kaya, mabilis at maginhawa ang paglalakbay ng ating mga kababayan? Dapat may konkretong plano, doon talaga tayo nakatuon," Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services, said in a radio interview Monday.

The hearing will be opened by a briefing by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and its attached agencies and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on the state of land and air transport in the country, to be followed by an extensive discussion of the government's plan to address the traffic problem, including appropriate modes of procurement and the safeguards that need to be instituted to promote transparency and eliminate opportunities for corruption.

Poe added that she fully supports the government's plan to immediately address the traffic situation plaguing the metropolis, but pointed out that a well-defined scope of the President's emergency powers must be put in place to ensure transparency, accountability and effectiveness.

"Ang gusto natin dito mabilis, walang abuso at talagang magkakaroon ng solusyon sa lalong madaling panahon," Poe stressed.

In his State of the Nation Address, President Duterte asked Congress to pass a measure that would in effect mobilize government resources and undertake emergency measures to address the problem.

The senator assured, "Huwag kayong mag-alala kasi susunod-sunurin natin ang pagdinig para hindi sabihin na ang bottle neck o ang pagta-traffic ng pagkakaroon ng anumang kakailanganing emergency powers ay dahil nga sa Senado. Bibilisan natin iyan pero dapat may planong ipakita."

Invited to Wednesday's hearing-briefing are officials from DOTr and its attached agencies including the Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board, Toll Regulatory Board, Light Rail Transit Authority, Philippine National Railways, Light Rail Transit Authority (including the Metro Rail Transit operations), Civil Aeronautics Board, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Manila International Airport Authority and Office of Transportation Security. Officials from the MMDA, the agency presently tasked to manage traffic in the metropolis, are also invited to attend.

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