As various solutions to battle the ‘traffic crisis’ are being fast-tracked while some have already been implemented, the Duterte administration’s main weapon for this ‘war’ may not be made available by year’s end.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez hinted that the chance to pass the Traffic Crisis Act of 2016 within the year or before the various branches of the government go on its Christmas break is ‘slim’.
Alvarez puts the blame squarely on the Department of Transportation (DOTr) saying that the agency is being “uncooperative.”
“It will be quite difficult to pass the proposed emergency powers (before our Christmas break) because the DOTr is not being cooperative. They have to lay out what they intend to do so that the Congress could identify what emergency powers we can grant to them,” said Alvarez.
The concern of Alvarez mirrors that of Senator Grace Poe as both lawmakers want the DOTr to lay out specific and detailed plans that require the ‘emergency powers.’
“We cannot give them blanket authority under the emergency powers without knowing their specific plans,” said Alvarez.
In related news, the Senate is working on the traffic crisis bill as well and may adopt certain provisions on the House version.
"We had a coordination meeting with Senator Grace Poe, the chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation, last week. And comparing notes, she said upon review that the House version is very thorough and well-thought off. And the Senate is ready to adopt some of our provisions," said Catanduanes and Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, Rep. Cesar Sarmiento.