Poe on grant of emergency powers: I’m not against it but it can’t be a “shotgun approach”

(Eagle News)–Senator Grace Poe on Friday, Sept. 13, maintained she was not against the grant of emergency powers for traffic problems to be addressed but said this “cannot be a shotgun approach.”

“For you to give something as immense as the emergency powers, you have to be sniper accurate… It’s like giving a loaded gun to a child if they don’t have a plan,” she said.

According to Poe, “there are already several laws in place to address the legal matters, such as procurement and right-of-way.”

Republic Act 9184, for instance, she said  provides the Department of Transportation with alternative modes of procurement limiting the same  to just three to six months.

She added an executive order, issued by  President Rodrigo Duterte, “allows agencies to directly avail of alternative modes of procurement such as direct contracting, repeat order, or negotiated procurement without having to get an exemption from the Government Procurement Policy Board.”

RA 10752, Poe said, also sets the period for ROW acquisition to 30 days.

“If that fails, the expropriation case soon after for which Writ of Possession must be issued after seven days from deposit,” she said.

According to Poe, “let us not lose sight of the fact that still the best way to decongest our roads is to have mass transport system that will encourage people to leave their cars at home.”

“That’s why we said we need to see the master plan..We can give all the powers they want but if they have no master plan, they will just end up wasting money or, worse, still not being able to achieve anything,” Poe said.

Earlier, Poe said Transportation Secretary Art Tugade should be replaced as he “did not perform” with respect to traffic problems.

But Tugade fired back at Poe.

“Sus, masyadong bilib sa sarili. Pati ba naman posisyon ko pinakikialaman niya?” Tugade asked.

“I only serve at the pleasure of the President. Not on the whims, caprice and theatrics of misguided politicians,” he added.