Press Release
October 12, 2016

Transcript of Sen. Grace Poe's concluding remarks
Emergency Powers Hearing

Although the House is still conducting hearings on emergency powers, we are about to wrap up with only two to three TWGs to iron out the provisions of the bill.

First, allow me to repeat what I have said in the past hearings and in today's opening remarks: There are projects that do not need emergency powers at all but you can already implement them now.

Second, we expect you to act on the following without emergency powers:

- One, do something about having too many unqualified drivers on the road. These people do not know or understand traffic signs/ signals so please make sure that the exams to obtain a driver's license should really be professionalized, hindi yung puro lusot. Especially with the new traffic programs that we have, with the BRT, we have to include that in the exams. What exactly does that mean, kapag may dedicated line na ganoon? You have to be able to revise those exams.

- Two, there should be dedicated parking space for all vehicles. Perhaps, each barangay could have an open pay-parking area and towing yard. Parking on the sidewalk should be absolutely prohibited.

- Three, identify and implement designated bus and jeepney stops. Hanggang ngayon sa gitna pa rin nagbababa. Since the Philippines is in a hot humid tropical location, the walking threshold is only two hundred meters when out in the open--that is, no shade from the hot sun or rain, please consider this.

Hindi rin natin kailangan ng emergency powers dahil, sa lahat ng bagay, kung may disiplina ang nararapat upang matugunan din nang sapat ang trapiko. Sa pagkakataong 80 porsyento ang commuter at 20 porsyento ang private motorists sa EDSA, so tama naman kailangan natin yung BRT, kahit na mayaman pa baka mas gusto yun ang kunin.

To summarize a few things:

- As pointed out by Senator Recto, "medyo malabo" ang draft bill na isinumite ng DOTr sa komite. Ito ngayon ang pagtutuunan ng pansin ng ating komite upang mas lalong maging kapaki-pakinabang sa ating mga kababayan ang mga proyektong kaakibat ng emergency powers.

- Meron din tayong concerns regarding the scope and coverage of emergency powers and whether there are existing plans to back up the exercise of these powers.

- There are questions about whether emergency powers will be supported with sources of funding. The bill is not supposed to be a supplemental budget. There is a need to coordinate with DBM and NEDA for purposes of creating much needed budget space. Hindi naman pwede siguro lahat PPP.

- The DOTr has been tasked to identify and later submit to this committee, list of gated subdivisions that may be opened up to help ease traffic.

- It was also suggested by Senator Recto to provide a specific valuation system for determining just compensation. Kasi nga naman kapag pinaghirapan mo yung lupa na iyon, ibebenta lang ng zonal value, alam naman nating triple ang fair market value or yung market value. Kailangan maresolba yun, ano yung magiging standard.

- Projects such as the NLEX-SLEX connector road require the resolution of Informal Settler concerns and please give us a graphic, kung meron kayong powerpoint for the technical working group on how the NLEX-SLEX connector really work.

- We appreciate the highlights of the BRT system. We inquired about whether there is a plan for city buses that may be affected, and surely they will be affected. Hopefully in a positive way for most of us.

- We received inputs from the DPWH about specific provisions of the DOTr's version of the emergency powers, ideas how to fast track existing construction projects and flood control projects, which is vital.

- We heard about the concerns from cause-oriented groups such as Bayan regarding the Trinoma Common Station. It is imperative that the common station project be based on public convenience and public interest, at the least cost to the government and I thank you for raising this concern. We also heard the technical explanation of Usec Kintanar that is also valid. But according to Bayan, public infrastructure should not be held hostage by private interest and we agree with that sentiment. So you really need to assure the public that it is for their own good.

The committee intends to conduct another TWG to go through a line-by-line reading of the bills in order to amend, reword, add, or remove certain provisions.

The committee wishes to extend its appreciation to the Executive branch, in particular the DPWH, MMDA, DICT, DOTr, and others and concerned transport and commuter groups, for giving their inputs. We will also include in the emergency powers the inclusion of cell towers to encourage more home based telecommuting by allowing more expedient releases of permits, by cutting it from twenty-five signatures to maybe one or two.

Sec. Villar also mentioned that they would rather secure the permits for these construction projects so that the contractors won't be saddled with the burden of having to go thru each and every department on their own, maybe giving the different requirements and standards.

Nais din nating pasalamatan ang mga senador na dumalo , ang ating Vice Chair na expert actually sa railing, hindi niyo kami maloloko diyan, he conducted a hearing inquiring on the state of the rail situation in the country. I will be leaving in his able hands as the sub-committee chair one particular resolution and one particular senate bill. Napaka-importante ng konsultasyon--at ito ay ipinapaalala din natin sa DOTr at iba pang ahensya ng gobyerno--na makipag-usap sa mga nasa baba at sa isa't-isa kasi siyempre kapag hindi kayo nag-usap, wala rin namang mangyayari sa ating mga kababayan at sa inyong lahat. Kami po ay kaisa ninyo, kung makakatulong po itong emergency powers, at sa tingin ko sa maraming bagay makakatulong ito, nais naming ibigay ito bago tayo magtapos ng Disyembre. Pero alalahanin rin natin na hindi lang naman kami ni Sen. JV o ni Sen. Recto ang pipirma dito, kailangan natin ang mga kasamahan sa senado at lalong lalo na din sa mababang kapulungan.

Muli, maraming salamat po.

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