Tolentino files bill seeking emergency powers for PHL President to address traffic crisis

(Eagle News) – Senator Francis Tolentino filed a bill which will declare the “existence of a national emergency” due to the traffic and congestion crisis in various metropolitan centers in the country.

Senate Bill 213 also seeks to grant emergency powers for two years to the President to address this traffic crisis.

“This bill proposes to declare the existence of a national emergency in view of the traffic and congestion crisis in Metropolitan Manila, Metropolitan Cebu, and other highly urbanized cities,” Tolentino said.

The bill will authorize the President to utilize all necessary government resources, exercise police power and employ executive actions and measures, among others for a limited period of time and subject to restrictions, in addressing the traffic crisis.

“The exercise of emergency powers shall be limited to acts that would resolve the traffic and congestion crisis,” the bill said.

The emergency powers granted to the President will be valid for two years, unless sooner withdrawn by Congress through a resolution.

If passed within the term of President Rodrigo Duterte, the bill would grant emergency powers to him to address the traffic crisis in various highly urbanized cities in the country.

The national emergency will include land, air, and sea traffic in Metro Manila, Metropolitan Cebu, Davao City, Cagayan de Oro, and other highly urbanized cities.

The Transportation Secretary will be the designated chairman under the bill. He will be under the supervision and direct control of the President.

As the traffic czar, the Transportation Secretary shall also create a Traffic Crisis Action and Mobility Plan.

“The czar is hereby authorized to exercise all powers granted to the President by virtue of this Act,” it further stated.

The bill was filed last week but was released to media only on Wednesday.