MANILA – Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Monday submitted the list of projects to address traffic congestion in Metro Manila for a measure granting emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte.
During an interview before attending the session, Senator Grace Poe said the Senate committee on public services which she chairs will now resume hearing on the measures.
“Nais kong magpasalamat sa Department of Transportation, natanggap na natin ang kanilang proposed projects at proposed bill para sa emergency powers. Ito ay natanggap ng aming opisina noong biyernes. Ngayon, medyo mahaba-haba ito, kaya kailangang pag-aralang mabuti kaya gusto naming madaliin din,” Poe said.
Among the powers sought by President Duterte, based on the submitted plans, are projects for road, rail and air transport sectors.
“The plan wants to establish a single authority to manage traffic, expediting procurement processes for transportation projects, limiting the issuance of temporary restraining orders and injunctions to the Supreme Court, exempting key transportation projects from restrictive audit rules, expediting expropriation process for right-of-way acquisitions, and reorganizing the DOTr to provide enough manpower in implementing projects,” Poe explained.
Aside from the specific projects to be implemented by the Duterte administration, Tugade also submitted to the Senate a draft bill on the emergency powers to address the transportation crisis.
“Ang maliwanag dito, para sa kaalaman ng ating mga kababayan, bubuwagin na ang kapangyarihan ng LTO [Land Transportation Authority], LTFRB [Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board], pati ang MMDA [Metropolitan Manila Development Authority] at mga local government units pagdating sa pagma-manage ng traffic. Ito ay magkakaroon na ng isang central authority ng traffic na pamumunuan ng DOTr,” Poe told reporters.
Poe assured that the deliberation on the proposed measure will be expedited by the panel while the technical working group is crafting the substance of the measure by conducting consultation to stakeholders.
“Lahat tayo biktima dito ng sama ng trapiko kaya gusto na namin tapusin sa Senado at kami ay nagpapasalamat nandito na ‘yung plano pero kailangan madaliin din sa lahat ng mga ibang sangay ng gobyerno na ayusin ang kanilang pwedeng magawa ngayon na kahit wala pang emergency powers,” Poe said.
The senator, who earlier decided to hold off public hearings on the proposal in the light of lack of any feasible plan that the DOTr would implement under such powers, said her committee is already scrutinizing the proposal.
“Pero ang medyo hindi maliwanag sa atin ay ang nilagay nila na ’to decongest traffic in highly urbanized areas,’ pero hindi nabanggit ang mga highly urbanized areas gaya ng Cebu, Davao at kung anu-ano ang mga proyekto na gagawin dito,” Poe added.
In the meantime, the senator assured that the public services committee is continuing technical working group meetings to consult stakeholders to pave the way for a full-blown public hearing on Sept. 22.
“Mag-uumpisa sa Sept. 8 ang technical working group na mas mabusisi ang pagtatanong sa mga sector. Nagbigay sila [DOTr] ng mga suggested projects pero gusto natin malaman kung kinausap ba nila ang mga apektadong sektor. Ang pag-resume ng ating hearing ay sa Sept. 22. Dahil 64 pages ‘yan [report], lahat ng local government units na maaapektuhan ay bibigyan ng pagkakataong pag-aralan ang isinumite ng DOTr. Lahat din ng iba’t ibang ahensya na mabubuwag ang kapangyarihan sa trapiko ay kailangang magbigay ng kanilang suhestyon sa DOTr,” Poe said.
Poe does not see any hurdle in approving the proposed emergency powers measure in the Senate, as her colleagues expressed support on the need for President Duterte’s emergency powers, albeit with enough safeguards to prevent possible abuses.
Under the DOTr’s draft bill, contracts entered into by the Executive branch, including qualifications of contractors, budgetary estimates, shall be published on a website.
The duration of authority granted to the President shall be valid for three years unless sooner withdrawn by Congress.
A congressional oversight committee will be established to be composed of five members each from the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Herein are the proposed projects and programs of the administration purportedly to solve the perennial traffic problems, to wit:
A. Some of the projects to address traffic and congestion
• Metro Bus Rapid Transit Line 1
o 12.3-km line from Manila-QC;
o Cost: P4.7 billion; Timeline: 2016-2019
• Metro Bus Rapid Transit Line 2
o 48.6-km line covering EDSA, Ayala, Ortigas-BGC up to NAIA;
o Cost: P39.44 billion; Timeline: 2016-2018
• Integrated Transport System Southwest Terminal along Coastal Road
o Cost: P3.15 billion; Start of operation: June 2018
• Integrated Transport System South Terminal, FTI Compound
o Cost: P2.23 billion; Start of operation: June 2018
• Improvement of existing national roads
o Cost: P1.59 billion; Timeline: 2016-2017
POLICIES. Rationalize public transport system, map out secondary routes, omnibus franchising policy, prohibit bus terminals along major thoroughfares, PUV modernization, provision of enough parking spaces, establish new emission testing centers, and transfer of DOTr Central Office to Clark
• Procurement of new train coaches
• LRT Line 1 extension to Cavite
• LRT Line 2 extension to Masinag, Antipolo
• LRT Line 2 extension to Pier 4
• Increase of MRT3 capacity to include procurement of new carts and general overhaul
• Construction of Line 4 from Taytay, Rizal to Pureza
• Construction of Line5a from Makati CBD utilizing existing tunnel
• Construction of Line 5–subway connecting existing business districts
• Construction of Line 6 from Niyog, Cavite to Dasmariñas, Cavite via Aguinaldo hiway
• Construction of Line 7 from North EDSA to San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan via Commonwealth Ave
• Extension of PNR North Commuter from Tutuban to Malolos, Bulacan to Clark, Pampanga
• Extension of PNR South Commuter from Tutuban to Los Banos, Laguna
• Construction of Mindanao Rail, Cebu Rail, and Central Philippines Rail
• Airport improvements including construction of exit taxiways, runway overlay and additional CCTVs
• Improvements in domestic airports to allow night-time flights
• Decongest NAIA traffic. Legislation is needed to allow the government to redistribute air traffic while promoting air connectivity in other alternative gateways
B. Proposed Traffic and Congestion Crisis Act of 2016
• Grant of emergency powers to the President/Executive branch involved in transportation and traffic management
• The President may reorganize the existing structure of the DOTr, Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Civil Aviation Board, Metro Manila Development Authority, Highway Patrol Group, and all other agencies in the transportation sector
• Formulation of the Decongestion and Transportation Network Reform Plan that shall provide a roadmap and list of projects for the national and local intermodal transport system
• Appointment of a Traffic Crisis Manager that shall exercise overall traffic management and control
• Special Modes of Procurement for transportation projects:
1. Direct Contracting
2. Repeat Order
3. Direct Negotiation of Contracts
• No court except the Supreme Court may issue any TRO against the government on acquisition, clearance and development of the right-of-way, procurement, commencement, termination and authorization of other lawful activities necessary for transportation projects.
• Right to information. Contracts entered into by the government, including qualifications of contractors, budgetary estimates and other salient features, shall be published on a website
• Duration: emergency powers shall be effective for three years unless sooner withdrawn by Congress.