Alvarez pushes ‘emergency powers’ for Duterte to solve traffic mess

MANILA — Newly-installed Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Monday called on his colleagues to grant President Rodrigo Roa Duterte emergency powers to deal with the appalling traffic situation besieging not only Metro Manila but also Metro Cebu as well that is costing the economy about Php 2.4 billion a day.

“We waste so many hours sitting in cars or buses or riding in jampacked and rickety MRT and PNR trains instead of spending time at work or being with our families at home. The situation is, in most certain terms, a true crisis which needs emergency powers to enable the President to act,” he said during his acceptance speech before the plenary.

Earlier, President Duterte cited the traffic nightmare in Metro Manila for declining invitations to serve as guest of honor in various events in the metropolis.

The Chief Executive added that he may miss further invitations until the traffic crisis is resolved.

Besides granting the President emergency powers, the Davao del Norte lawmaker also pushed for the revision of the Government Procurement Act.

“Since its passage into law, many government agencies as well as those in the private sector have felt discomfited with R.A. 9184, as amended. Unlike a free-size shirt, the Procurement Law should not be a one-size-fits-all kind of law” he said.

“We should put in enough flexibility to address all foreseeable possibilities that may arise in the course of government procurement,” Alvarez said. Cielito Reganit/PNA/