Press Release
February 23, 2018


In order to address this worsening traffic crisis, the government should develop a reliable and convenient mass transit system, it should build alternative roads and bridges, it should pursue innovative technological traffic management solutions, and it should develop economic centers outside of Metro Manila in order to decongest it. But all of this cannot be done without a well-thought out plan that can only be carried out effectively through coordination between the national and local government units. This can be achieved if we pass the emergency powers bill, which I filed and has been pending in the Senate.

There is a need to grant extraordinary powers, because current laws do not adequately provide for the means to expeditiously and effectively solve this traffic and congestion crisis. Some laws even create roadblocks to acting promptly.

Unfortunately, the bill should have passed already but is being hindered by extended debates. Though the President initially asked for emergency powers, he said later on that he does not need it. This sent mixed signals to members of the House and the Senate.

As we have witnessed, because of the President's influence and popularity, the bills he explicitly mentioned to prioritize like the TRAIN, can hurdle Congress rather quickly.

Despite this, the emergency powers bill is in its advanced stage of discussion in the Senate plenary. What is perhaps needed to expedite it through the last mile of approval is presidential certification of urgency.

Because we all know that it is the lubricant which moves legislation.

We are in a war against traffic; but if the people who will receive such emergency powers will categorically say that the powers are an ammunition they no longer need, then the onus of solving it falls solely and squarely on them.

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