Press Release
September 22, 2016

Senate Committee on Public Services

As we conclude the third and final hearing on the proposals to grant Emergency Powers to the President, allow me to summarize what we have learned.

First, it appears that the DOTr, in order to address the traffic crisis in the Philippines, requests an exemption from the tedious procurement process.

Speedy procurement is one of the proposed solutions to transportation crisis, however, it can eliminate competitive bidding to an extent.

We may allow shortcuts for as long as they do not shortchange the taxpayers.

Second, the DOTr prefers a "Single Traffic Authority", we've discussed this.

Emergency powers should include a budget for relocating informal settler families and improving relocation areas. Thus, there is the need for a National Government--Local Government partnership.

We heard about ICT-based solutions to address traffic congestion. We want to include the obtaining of permits for cell towers to be part of the emergency powers so that we will have faster internet and clearer cellphone service. As underscored by the DICT, emergency powers are needed to reduce red tape in LGUs.

We hope that what we have gathered through this series of hearings will help us craft an FOI-compliant, fiscally responsible, detailed, particular, and deadline-oriented emergency powers bill.

I think this might be our last public hearing and then after that we will be having technical working groups unless something comes up that we need to call another one. I wish to thank our resource persons who made it today.

I would also like to thank the different representatives from the agencies, DOTr for tirelessly attending our hearings and going thru a very rigorous Q and A process and for submitting what you can considering you've only been in office for a few months. I would also like to thank our non-government agencies for shedding light on certain problematic provisions. I would like to request DPWH to please submit to us the Swiss challenge awarding for the NLEX-SLEX connector. We will await that information and background. And also the senators who attended today and whether Congress can immediately enact provisions for emergency powers which are contentious, whether in in-city resettlement policies can better address informal settler issues so they don't have to be relocated anywhere else. Whether certifications can be issued for urgent, critical projects and be forwarded to COA so that procuring entities will not hesitate to use alternative modes of procurement.

We also asked our resource persons to submit the following: Quantitative output per project; Cost and procedure in setting up a cell site. This is particularly from the local governments, Mayor Herbert and also maybe from Laguna, may we have one from you, Mayor Timmy

We shall advise the proper resource persons of the date, time, and venue of the TWG meeting.

This hearing is hereby adjourned.

Good afternoon.

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