Press Release
September 8, 2016

Poe: Senate working double time to fast-track emergency powers bill
Poe: Transport stakeholders dapat pakinggan

Senator Grace Poe said the Senate is resolved to swiftly deliberate on the emergency powers sought by the Executive branch to tackle the massive transport crisis and provide immediate relief to the public.

The Senate Committee on Public Services chaired by Poe held a technical working group (TWG) consultative meeting today (Sept. 8), hearing various stakeholders on their positions and proposals under such extra powers. The TWG was facilitated by the committee's legislative team.

"Nararapat nating pakinggan ang anumang suhestiyon ng mga apektadong sektor kaugnay ng draft bill ng emergency powers at listahan ng mga proyektong ipatutupad sa ilalim ng panukalang emergency powers. We must ensure that issues and inputs from all concerned sectors are taken into account," Poe said.

Participating in the TWG were officials from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), MMDA and commuter and transport groups. The committee heard their proposed recommendations and proposals relative to the draft bill submitted by the DOTr, for consideration by the Senate.

"Lahat tayo ay apektado sa problema ng traffic at gusto nating tapusin ang kalbaryong ito," said Poe at the last hearing.

Poe earlier expressed confidence that the extra powers bill could hurdle the Senate before the Christmas break amid ongoing deliberations on the proposed P3.35 trillion national budget.

The senator said her committee is currently scrutinizing the DOTr proposal, initially noting that projects in other urban areas such as Cebu and Davao should have formed part of the submission by the DOTr.

Public hearing will resume on Sept. 22 with local government heads, transportation officials and stakeholders invited.

Among others, the proposal authorizes President Duterte, for a duration of three years, to reorganize DoTr, Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Civil Aeronautics Board, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group and all other agencies in the transportation sector and rationalize their functions.

The draft bill designates the Transportation secretary as Traffic Crisis Manager who will exercise overall traffic management and control, as well as oversee the implementation of the plan. The bill also authorizes the Transport chief to adopt "special" procurement modes for projects, namely direct contracting involving directly tapping a contractor, supplier or consultant who meets financial, technical and legal qualifications set by the procuring office; repeat order involving direct procurement of goods from a previous supplier; and direct negotiation of contracts with a project proponent who meets all pre-qualification requirements set by Republic Act No. 7718 or the Build-Operate-Transfer Law.

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