DOTr’s Tugade meets with Tolentino on emergency powers bid vs PH traffic woes
Robie de Guzman • July 10, 2019 • 1739
MANILA, Philippines – Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade on Wednesday met with Senator Francis Tolentino to discuss plans on refiling an emergency powers bill to solve the country’s traffic woes, particularly in Metro Manila.
Tugade said he met with Tolentino to tackle the measure that has been pending in both chambers of Congress for more than two years.
The transportation chief said he will do his best to convince lawmakers to pass the bill, which he sees as a vital solution to the country’s perennial problem on traffic.
“‘Wag po nating pabaunan ng duda ‘yung deliberasyon, pababaunan ko yan ng kaliwanagan sa pag-uusap. Naniniwala ako na kung ang mga mag-uusap ay may kaliwanagan, magkakaroon ng kooperasyon, pwede po nating mapadali ito,” he told reporters in an interview.
(Let us not cast doubt on the deliberation, I will shed light on its importance during discussion. I believe than when it is tackled by people who understand it, there will be cooperation. This can be fast-tracked.)
Tolentino earlier said he will push for the emergency powers bid once the incoming 18th Congress convenes on July 22.
The lawmaker said his version of the bill focuses on strengthening the mandate of concerned agencies and local government units to address the traffic crisis.
“Nalagyan natin ng ibang detalye na wala dati, for instance ‘yung working hours, ‘yung adjustment ng oras ng pagpasok at yung role ng mga local government units,” he said.
(We have placed there details that are not present in the previous bill, for instance the working hours, adjustment of working hours and the role of local government units.)
The bill seeking to ease the worsening traffic situation was first filed after Duterte said in his 2016 State of the Nation Address that traffic problems should be legitimately addressed if Congress could accord him emergency powers.
He eventually gave up on his plan after some lawmakers said that the emergency powers might be used for corruption.
Under the proposed Traffic Crisis Act, previously filed in the 17th Congress, the Transportation Secretary will be designated as Traffic Chief with power of control and supervision over land transportation agencies. He will also have the authority to harmonize and enforce all traffic rules and regulations to implement a unified traffic system throughout each of the metropolitan areas and implement programs that will have significant impact on addressing the traffic crisis.
The bill was approved on third and final reading of the House of Representatives while its Senate version reached the plenary but was not approved until the 17th Congress adjourned.
Although there is a need to resolve the worsening traffic woes in the country, the DOTr said that once the bill is refiled, they will not ask the president to certify it as urgent.
“Kung magkasundo po kami sa mga datos at detalye, hindi po ba mas magandang pumunta kami kay pangulo na handa na yung detalye kaysa blanket na hihingin na wala pang detalye? Hindi ho ba mas magandang proseso yung ganun?” he said. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Monday reported that the construction of the Metro Rail Transit line 7 (MRT-7) is now 49.22 percent complete more than three years after construction started.
In a statement on Facebook, the DOTr said that civil works of the underground/depressed, at-grade, and elevated guideway are in various stages of construction, while civil works of nine of the 14 stations are in full swing.
Trackwork installations are also ongoing.
“Likewise, the required rolling stock of 108 cars has been completed, and are awaiting shipment pending the availability of the depot/holding area,” it added.
The 22-kilometer MRT-7 will connect Quezon City to San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan.
The line is expected to reduce travel time to 35 minutes from the current 2 to 3 hours.
The project is eyed to be completed by 2021, the DOTr said.
MANILA, Philippines – The government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program has started.
In line with this, a total of 15 modern PUV units will start plying the Nichols – Magallanes – Mall of Asia – Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) route starting November 11.
The new Class 2 PUV units manifest the standards set by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), equipped with air-conditioning units, CCTV, WiFi access, GPD and side entrance.
To comply with the environmental requirements, the modern PUV units use Euro-4 fuel.
On Thursday (November 7), Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade led the turnover ceremony and inspection of the modern jeepney from engine manufacturer Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC). He was joined by Pasang Masda President Ka Obet Martin.
Tugade thanked the Pasang Masda for supporting the government’s modernization program.
“Mapapahayag ko ang aking pasasalamat sa Pasang Masda, kay Ka Obet, na winawagayway at kinakalat sa buong kapuluan ang paniniwala nila sa modernization program,” Secretary Tugade said.
For his part, Martin vowed to support the administration’s PUV modernization initiatives on the intention of providing comfort to the riding public.
“Wala pong ibang hangarin ang ating Pangulo kundi mabigyan ng maayos na serbisyo, mabigyan ng maayos na sasakyan ang ating mga kababayan ganun din po ang panuntunan ng ating Kalihim,” Martin noted.
Meanwhile, Tugade also announced the Department’s plan to release a Class 1 PUV unit which is cheaper and with larger capacity of up to 13 passengers.
IPC President Hajime Koso, likewise, expressed confidence that their vehicles “will be able to provide a more durable, comfortable, and safe transport solution for the riding public,”
“I have always believed that the Isuzu PUVs are truly a vehicle made by the Filipinos for the Filipinos. As they say in Tagalog, ‘gawang Pilipino, para sa Pilipino,’ he said.
Secretary Tugade calls on other PUV drivers and operators to join in the government’s PUV modernization program for their benefit and the general public as well.
“Believe in the modernization program. Believe that the government will be one in you in giving the support and cooperation, so we can launch the modernization program to its really, good, ultimate culmination,” he concluded.
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