Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is not convinced on the need to grant emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte to solve the traffic problems in Metro Manila and other urbanized cities.
Alvarez said the Department of Transportation (DOTr) did not cite specific actions that it wants to undertake once the President is granted emergency powers.
“We can’t give emergency powers if we don’t know where it will be used. The problem is not with Congress. The DOTr was asked what it wants to do, and they didn’t say any,” Alvarez said in a radio interview.
“We want to be of help, but if they don’t want to help, we can’t do anything about it. With all these people sa DOTr, there are undersecretaries with personal interests. I’m sure they are negotiating contracts,” he added.
Alvarez was referring to Undersecretaries Noel Kintanar, Raoul Creencia and Bobby Lim.
Alvarez was particularly incensed by the payment of P740 million by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to Amalgamated Motors Philippines Inc., the supplier of drivers’ licenses, even if its contract has long expired.
“Maybe the problem is not with Transportation Secretary [Art] Tugade, but with undersecretaries. For one, you don’t need emergency powers to conduct a bid for the licenses,” the Speaker said.