Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: PNA | posted September 24, 2016 15:35
Former MMDA Chair says President Duterte doesn't need emergency powers
If you’re one of the many who agree that the best solution to the traffic mess in Metro Manila is by granting President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers, be aware that there is a new and simpler proposal being put forth.
Former Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman and now Marikina Representative Bayani Fernando is proposing a more straightforward approach to solving the traffic crisis and that is having the government exercise its power of eminent domain.
This will allow the administration to have full authority on all the roads in Metro Manila and to simply compensate property owners who might lose in the possible legal disputes that may arise.
“Why don’t we give the courts an excuse to allow government to proceed with its projects while the case is being tried by having this guarantee that there is money appropriated for whatever damage may be incurred?” said Fernando.
Currently, government projects are hampered by temporary restraining orders (TROs) as it needs to acquire right-of-way permits prior to construction.
Fernando believes that there is no need for Congress to grant President Duterte emergency powers. Instead, simply strictly implement traffic rules and regulations in order to alleviate the traffic congestion.
“Our situation was a result of government being lax in enforcing traffic laws. The government should implement drastic measures to solve the traffic problem,” added Fernando.
The solon went as far as suggesting that apprehended colorum buses should be burned since the Php 1 million fine has done nothing to curb this illegal practice.
“It will make more impact on owners as their businesses depend on these vehicles. In that way, they will be convinced to follow our laws,” noted Fernando.
Power of eminent domain also allows the President to open up gated subdivisions so that their roads may be accessed by motorists to ease traffic on main roads.