Fourteen senators have signed a committee report on a bill granting President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers to address the traffic crisis in the country.
The following senators are Loren Legarda, Franklin Drilon, Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, Panfilo Lacson, Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Richard Gordon, Joel Villanueva, Nancy Binay, Sherwin Gatchalian, Gregorio Honasan, Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, former presidential opponent Grace, and staunch Duterte critic Antonio Trillanes IV.
Poe, who is the chair of the Senate committee on public services, led the panel which discussed and deliberated on the measure along with finance committee chair Legarda and the constitutional amendments and revision of codes chair Drilon.
According to Poe, the Senate Bill No. 1284 or “An Act Compelling the Government to Address the Transportation and Congestion Crisis through the Grant of Emergency Powers to the President” was a combination of the measures filed by Drilon, Gatchalian and Senators Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, and Alan Peter Cayetano.
In Poe's sponsorship speech of the bill, she described traffic in Metro Manila as a “disease” and a “virus engulfing the nation.”
“A long train of bad ideas, bankrupt programs, botched projects, and lack of meaningful foresight has made it an accident waiting to happen—the perfect train wreck upon which the well-being and welfare of the Filipino people is fighting for survival. It is now time to untangle the mess, one that is so grave and great that it needs emergency powers to straighten it out,” she said.
“What is disappointing, Mr. President, is it appears that the burden to solve the traffic crisis is now on us. Bigla na lang idinadahilan ng ibang mga taga executive department na hindi sila makakilos ng mabilis dahil wala silang emergency powers (Those from the executive department would suddenly claim they couldn’t act swiftly due to lack of emergency powers). Many solutions do not require legislation. In fact, the laws are there, the plans are there, if only they are implemented. Hindi lahat ng solusyon nangangailangan ng semento. Kadalasan, sentido-kumon lang ang kulang (Not all solutions need a specific power. Usually, what’s lacking is the common sense)."
“To them, I say, ‘Get off your office chairs, and act now.’ You should inspire the people to have confidence in you, and that will only happen if your actions will spur results,” Poe added.
She also noted that three committees decided to grant Duterte the powers because of the ongoing P3 billion loss every day resulting from heavy traffic.