SENATOR Grace Poe and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade clashed over the need to grant emergency powers to the President to solve Metro Manila’s traffic congestion woes.
During the Senate Public Services Committee hearing, Tugade renewed his call for granting the President emergency powers to deal with the traffic problem.
“Nasabi po natin noon na yung tinatawag natin emergency power ay may unique features, una ho eto ho’y emergency power na hindi pang-forever, yung emergency power na sukat sa isa, dalawa, tatlong taon, kung ating pagiisipan, bigyang tanaw yung nakaraan, kung napagbigyan lang sana ang emergency power noon, dapat ngayon nirerepaso na natin yung nagawa,” said Tugade.
The official insisted that the grant of emergency powers would provide for the immediate adoption of policy direction that would “normally require amendment of existing laws and ordinances,” expedite the procurement process, and the resolution of right-of-way issues related to programs.
But Poe, contradicted Tugade, saying he should not put the blame for the traffic situation on the lack of emergency powers.
The senator asked Transporation Undersecretary for Railways Timothy Batan about the operations of Dalian Trains.
According to Batan, none of the 48 Dalian coaches is currently in operation.
“So, ito lang ang sinasabi ko, Secretary Tugade, lahat po tayo ay biktima kasi talaga ng traffic at wala po ditong nagpipigil sa kung anuman ang maaring maging solusyon, kaya lamang po ay pare-pareho tayong may responsibilidad,” Poe said.
“Huwag po natin sisihin na dahil walang emergency powers ay hindi nagawa ang dapat nating gawin, sapagkat dito lamang sa train na to, na hindi kinailangan ng emergency powers ay ni isa dun sa Dalian train na matagal na naming sinasabing napakahirap na gawin tugma sa ating train system, ay ipinilit pa rin, kaya hanggang ngayon , three years after, from the last administration, hindi pa rin gumagana yan,” the senator said.
“Wala ho kaming sinasabing wala ho kaming nagawa kasi walang emergency power. Wala ho akong sinabing ganyan, ang sinasabi ko ho, mas marami ho sana kaming nagawa kung meron hong emergency power,” Tugade answered.