• Traders seek wider powers for new president

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    THE influential Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc.
    (FFCCCI) wants President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to have wider emergency powers not just to tackle Metro Manila’s horrendous traffic jams but to address problems of peace and order, illegal drugs and graft and corruption.

    The group said these bigger powers could be given to Duterte within the first six months of his administration.

    Angel Ngu, FFCCCI president, in a letter dated May 27, 2016 to incoming Speaker Davao Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, said the granting of emergency powers to Duterte would give him the leeway to directly confront these problems.

    “By granting our President-elect emergency powers, he would be able to address the above issues, instil discipline among our people and set the policies needed to protect and promote the interest of our citizens,” Ngu said.

    Duterte won by a landslide on a platform anchored on fighting criminality, especially the illegal drug menace and combating graft and corruption in government.

    He will formally assume the presidency on June 30.

    Specifically, the Filipino-Chinese community is calling on the incoming administration to address the problem of kidnapping where most of the victims are of Chinese descent.

    The group also wants a tougher stand against murder and “street crimes” such as robbery, “riding-in-tandem” killings and car theft.

    The FFCCI also supports Duterte’s campaign against drug syndicates, noting the proliferation of illegal drugs “corrupts our youth.”

    Also, the group wants Duterte to deliver on his promise to rid the government of graft and corruption.

    If granted emergency powers, the FFCCCI also hopes that Duterte will be able to solve Metro Manila’s “traffic gridlocks” that bleed the economy at least P2 billion a day.

    It noted that congestions were made worse by the “lack of implementation of traffic rules,” the proliferation of sidewalk vendors and “illegal street parking.”

    Ngu said they are hopeful that the 17th Congress, composed mostly of Duterte allies, will consider the granting of such powers.

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