‘Emergency powers not needed’

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Granting President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers to solve the traffic problems in Metro Manila should be the last resort of the government, former 1-UTAK party-list Rep. Vigor Mendoza 2nd said Saturday.

“Emergency powers are not needed to decongest [traffic]. If we are to use emergency powers, we might as well set aside the law,” Mendoza said, adding that government should put in place less drastic solutions.

However, he made it clear that he is not against granting the President special powers to solve the traffic mess, which had caused daily outcries from commuters and motorists.

In a news conference in Quezon City, the former lawmaker laid out recommendations which he said can be implemented in the next 90 to 120 days. He said the government can, within this time-frame, modernize the public transport system by replacing old jeepney units with new and air-conditioned ones.


“Car owners will be more enticed to leave their cars and just ride public transport,” he said.

Other means include dispatch-scheduling of jeepneys, eradicating colorum and out-of-line vehicles through an eTag system and ordering truck deliveries from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

“The eTag is like the biometrics of the vehicle which can be read using an eTag reader. No eTag or wrong eTag means the vehicle has no proper papers or is operating out-of-line,” Mendoza said.

He also proposed making the Marcos Highway, C5, and private subdivision roads as alternate routes to congested EDSA.

“Reroute to the peripheral roads, at ‘yung traffic sa EDSA ay lilipat sa kanila (the EDSA traffic will be trasferred there),” he pointed out.

He said the government also has the option to make all northbound traffic flow one-way through EDSA and use C5 for the southbound traffic.

“There are many things that the government can do to alleviate traffic on the ground immediately without resorting to emergency powers,” he said.

Meanwhile, a member of Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s legal team, Larry Gadon, believes that using the ports outside Metro Manila can alleviate the traffic problem.

The Senate had started conducting hearings on a bill seeking to grant President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers so that he can better address the traffic problems in Metro Manila and other urban areas. His ally, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, expressed hopes that the House of Representatives will also expedite action on similar measures so that the traffic crisis can be solved as soon as possible.

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2 Comments

  1. In fairness to DOTr they are already get the motion going. Still need e-power to consolidate traffic rules and laws if not nationwide at leas in Metro Manila. Exactly, there should be e-power to consolidate city bus operations and or replace jeepneys and UV Express from the roads, clean the roads of any illegal parking and to expedite procurement and bidding process. I agree, the mass transport system must undergo “total overhaul” using the existing buses and road networks–and this definitely needs emergency power. For one, various transport groups and or bus operators are already against it to the extent of blaming (government) of the current setup (no bus stop, etc.) and cannot control the passenger behavior. These reasons, the government should step-in; require bus companies to consolidate their operation and pay their drivers as regular employee–(running their operation with dedicated admin, operation, maintenance and logistics, etc), adapt the tap-in/out card as mode of payment where it can be use in MRT, LRT, etc. Reconfigure bus for city operation (MAN DIESEL Cetaro like in Singapore) and dispatch (time scheduling, Jeepneys (some) should be in secondary roads (inner city or neighborhood roads) but not in major thoroughfare. Overhaul the routes; for example MOA (with bus interchange) to Novaliches via portion of Taft-Espania-Quezon Ave-Commonwealt Ave to Novaliches (anywhere) where another (bus interchange); then in EDSA from Monumento to MOA; then Alabang to Ayala Makati, etc–in short network of bus routes (equally distributed) and not concentrating too much on Edsa. (lot more routes to be develop). A modified BRT, –if private companies will not consolidate and professionalized their system, remove or suspend their franchises, but the government should make an arrangement and or agreement with bus companies like Scania, MAN, or local assembler for DOST Hybrid to replace those base and hire drivers as regular employee of either MMDA or DOTr.–I bet you there will be “order on the road” because wala ng agawan sa pasahero” to earn.