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Top Gear Philippines

Duterte's emergency powers to fix traffic mess

His predecessors failed before him, so newly minted President Rodrigo Duterte may have to use "emergency powers" in order to fix the soul-sapping traffic mess we're in.

At least that's what the new bill filed by Senator Franklin Drilon is seeking.

Here's the press statement in full (in italics), just so we don't miss anything:

Senate President Franklin Drilon today filed a proposed measure granting President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers to address the alarming transportation crisis not only within Metro Manila, but in the country’s major urban areas as well.

"The emergency power being sought for President Duterte will capacitate him in addressing the horrendous traffic situation within and outside Metro Manila," Drilon said. "The emergency power is already a ‘necessity’ given the magnitude of the transportation crisis that not only impedes the mobility of people, goods and services, but also threatens the livability of our cities."

Under Senate Bill No. 11, or the "Transportation Crisis Act of 2016," the President will be authorized to adopt alternative methods of procurement for the construction repair, rehabilitation, improvement or maintenance of transportation projects aimed at the reduction of traffic congestion in Metro Manila and other urban areas.

These include limited source bidding, direct contracting, repeat order, shopping, and negotiated procurement.

In the same proposed measure, the Senate chief also sought the establishment of a sole urban traffic management authority to streamline the management of traffic.

Drilon believes that poor traffic management woes are mainly due to the poor enforcement of traffic rules and the overlapping functions of government institutions like Department of Transportation and its attached agencies Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Land Transportation Office (LTO), the MMDA, and local government units (LGUs).

To address this, Drilon said the MMDA and the Department of Transportation should be the sole urban traffic management authority in Metro Manila and other urban areas, respectively.

This includes MMDA and the transportation department absorbing some functions currently being performed by the LTFRB, the LTO and LGUs.

The bill will likewise allow the President to reorganize the DOT and its attached agencies--LTFRB and LTO--and the MMDA.

The bill, which will be valid for two years after its effectivity, seeks to get the necessary funds from the proceeds of the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge Fund, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, and the current budget of the agencies involved.

Drilon said that traffic congestion has resulted in an estimated productivity loss of around P2.4 billion a day ($54 million), more than P800 billion ($18 billion) a year.

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"If traffic congestion continues to be unabated, the traffic cost is expected to increase to P6 billion a day," Drilon said, citing a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in 2014.

He noted that aside from the cities in Metro Manila, various urban areas such as Metro Cebu and Cagayan De Oro are also experiencing horrible traffic congestion, which hampers growth and development.

Your thoughts?

Photo from Elha Pham

 

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traffic management Franklin Drilon Philippine government Philippine motoring Rodrigo Duterte Senate Senate bill senators Department of Transportation Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Land Transportation Office LTFRB LTO Metropolitan Manila Development Authority MMDA
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