MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has a plan “up his sleeves” to cut travel time along Edsa, particularly, between Cubao to Makati from over an hour to five minutes, Malacañang said on Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this comment after Duterte, during a Give Us this Day television guesting in Davao City on June 7, promised to ease traffic between Cubao and Makati.
“Surprise! He has something up his sleeves,” said Panelo without giving any details about the President’s plan.
Panelo said he will ask the President to elaborate on his pronouncement during the Cabinet meeting on Monday night.
“I’ll ask him tonight” said Panelo in a regular Palace press briefing.
Asked if Duterte’s statement was an expression of confidence that an emergency powers bill will be passed in the next Congress, where majority of senators are allies of the President, Panelo said he has to find out.
“I’ll ask him (Duterte) if he is that confident. Congress knows what is the problem, so it should know what to do to respond to a situation,” Panelo said.
“After all, they’re there, just like the President, to serve the Filipino people. And that includes putting the riding public in convenient situation,” he added.
Panelo, however, expressed hope that the 18th Congress will consider Duterte’s request for emergency powers to ease Metro Manila’s traffic woes.
On Friday, Duterte said traffic from Cubao to Makati will improve before the end of the year.
“You just wait. Ayaw ko mag-ano (I don’t want to preempt) but things will improve maybe God willing, December smooth sailing na. You don’t have to worry about traffic. Cubao and Makati is just about five minutes away,” Duterte said.
Duterte has been requesting the Congress to grant him emergency powers to solve Metro Manila’s traffic woes. However, the Senate has been hesitant to pass the measure amid corruption concerns.
Former Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs and Senator-elect Francis Tolentino earlier said he is going to push for the passage of emergency powers in the Senate to solve Metro Manila traffic woes.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade assured that there will be no corruption on the implementation of transportation projects once the proposed emergency powers is passed into law. Azer Parrocha / PNA – northboundasia.com