July 11, 2019
Sen. Francis Tolentino has filed a bill in the Senate that seeks to authorize the President to exercise emergency powers in addressing the traffic and congestion crisis in Metro Manila and other major cities.
In filing Senate Bill 213, Tolentino said the Philippine transportation infrastructure had been unable to keep up with the demands of a rising economy and growing population, as well as the land, air and sea traffic congestion and mass transportation shortage.
The traffic congestion crisis must be considered a national emergency because of its detrimental effects to life, economy and productivity, he said.
The senator cited a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency showing that the traffic and congestion crisis in Metro Manila alone had been a major contributor to an estimated loss of P3.5 billion a day.
Tolentino said this crisis must be recognized as a national emergency requiring urgent, immediate and sweeping solutions, for the general welfare of Filipinos.
His bill proposes to declare the existence of a national emergency in view of the traffic and congestion crisis in Metro Manila, Metropolitan Cebu and other highly urbanized cities, in accordance with Section 23(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.
It authorizes the President, for a limited period and subject to restrictions, to exercise powers necessary to effectively address the said national emergency.
Under the proposed measure, the President is granted emergency powers to employ the necessary government resources; exercise or employ executive actions and measures — necessary and incidental, unhampered by existing laws, regulations and procedures — to solve this escalating problem; and to adopt short-term, mid-term, and long-term development plans for a sustainable and efficient transport system.
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