Press Release
July 27, 2016

Drilon wants stronger safeguards in emergency power bill

Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin M. Drilon today urged Congress to strive for stronger safeguards that will prevent corruption and protect the government from entering into onerous and disadvantageous contracts at the expense of the Filipino people.

Drilon is the author of Senate Bill No. 11 or the Transportation Crisis Act of 2016 at the Senate, which seeks to grant President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers in dealing with the alarming transportation crisis within Metro Manila and other urban areas.

Drilon said that while he fully supports the passage of the bill, "it is also of the highest importance that the bill will provide safeguards that can adequately protect the system and the people from abuses."

Drilon said the Congress should take a careful look at previous experiences, citing, for instance, the country's experience when Congress enacted the Electric Power Crisis Act of 1993.

"We must learn from the experiences with the Electric Power Crisis Act of 1993, which was crafted to address the power crisis, but, in the end, resulted in the execution of onerous contracts with independent power producers that led to expensive and higher electricity rates," Drilon said.

"We must avoid making the same mistakes all over again," Drilon said, adding, "the bill must ensure that "the most advantageous price for the government is obtained."

It must also ensure that the procedure is undertaken in a transparent manner, he added.

We should strive for the highest standards of transparency and accountability in crafting the bill," he added.

"We must make sure that these powers will not be misemployed and exploit our people, rather than help them," he added.

He also said that a no-bidding policy and negotiated procurement must only be employed "as a last resort" when all other alternative methods of procurement have already been exhausted.

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