Press Release
August 26, 2016

Cayetano to Congress: don't prolong Filipinos' suffering; give the President emergency powers vs traffic ASAP

The longer it takes for Congress to grant emergency powers to the President, the longer it will take to resolve the country's perennial traffic and congestion problem.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano issued this warning during last Thursday's (August 25) Senate committee hearing on the proposals to give the President emergency powers to address the crisis.

Cayetano urged his colleagues at the Senate to immediately pass an emergency measure soonest to end the traffic mess.

"For every one month na hindi maibigay ang emergency powers, additional three to six months sa implementation ng (infrastructure) projects," he said.

"Marami kasi sa ating kapwa senador ang nag-iisip na kung one month delay, one month lang. We need to explain na hindi ganun. The earlier (the President) gets the emergency powers, the more na mabilis ang momentum of real change," he added.

Cayetano also appealed to members of the House of Representatives to fast-track the passage of a counterpart bill in the Lower House. "Nakiki-usap tayo sa House of Representatives na sabayan at bilisan din nila ang pagpasa ng panukalang ito," he said.

Cayetano was among those who filed a measure at the Senate seeking to fix the country's worsening traffic situation.

He filed Senate Bill No. 999 or the "Freedom from Traffic and Congestion Act of 2016," which seeks to authorize the President and heads of transport-related executive agencies to utilize necessary resources and employ executive actions to address the crisis.

Cayetano said that giving emergency powers to the executive branch would speed up the procurement of transport and infrastructure projects, which will pave the way for the construction of faster and more reliable transport services throughout the country.

SBN 999 will empower the executive branch to override various transport agencies' regulations, licenses, and procedures, exercise right of eminent domain by expropriating private property, and be exempted from procurement laws and Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs), which usually delay infrastructure projects.

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