MANILA – An ally of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Senate filed a bill seeking to grant him emergency powers to address traffic congestion in the country.
Sen. Francis Tolentino described traffic jams as a “national emergency requiring urgent, immediate and sweeping solutions, for the general welfare of the Filipino people.”
Tolentino was head of the agency in charge of Metro Manila traffic for 6 years before serving as Duterte’s political adviser. He won a 6-year Senate term last May.
Under Tolentino’s measure, the transportation secretary will serve as the country’s traffic crisis czar, who will be under the direct control of the President.
The traffic czar will implement and complete projects under the government’s massive infrastructure program and deal with site and right-of-way acquisitions and procurement.
The czar will also be tasked to reform the transportation system and ensure that the the use of the country’s roads, bridges and infrastructure are maximized.
Under the proposal, the czar may also enter into direct contracting and alternative modes of procurement for priority infrastructure projects. It also suspends the protest mechanism provided under the procurement law.
The bill also seeks the creation of a Traffic Crisis Action and Mobilization Plan, which will lay down the duties of various agencies on traffic management, list priority projects, produce an integrated traffic management plan, rationalize the route of land, sea and air public transport, and clear sidewalks, among others.
Private roads, including those within villages and subdivisions, may also be opened for public use, according to the bill.
The bill also states that only the Supreme Court can issue halt orders on the acquisition of sites for infrastructure projects, execution of transportation projects, opening of private village gates, and termination of any transportation project.
The emergency powers granted to the President shall only last for two years from the effectivity of the measure. The bill also creates a congressional oversight committee on the implementation of the measure.
A 2017 study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency said the Philippines loses P3.5 billion a day due to traffic and congestion in Metro Manila.
Even before former Senator and now Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano has officially been elected as the next Speaker of the House, there are rumblings and grumblings against his endorsement by President Duterte for a term sharing mechanism with Representative Lord Velasco. The Presidential recommendation took many by surprise considering that the President had been shifting from a non-interference stand to a compromise term sharing position.
Party list Representative Mike Defensor apologized to Davao City Mayor Inday Sara for dragging her name in a text message encouraging congressmen to vote for the candidate of choice and not just be swayed by the Presidential endorsement.
Representative Mikee Romero is now in a dilemma as he has gathered about fifty party list representatives that are supportive of the Duterte Administration at the same time that they had already previously endorsed Representative Velasco. With the announcement of the Presidential choice for Speaker, Romero has only given a QUALIFIED SUPPORT for Cayetano.
ANALYSIS: It is clear that Cayetano does not have the numbers to win an honest to goodness election in the House of Representatives. If the pressure from the Palace is taken away and the representatives are given the free hand to choose among themselves on who their leader would be, it will not be Cayetano. Of course, it is not the 2019 election for House Speaker that is being examined here but rather how this race for House Speaker in 2019 will impact the 2022 Presidential elections. Alan Cayetano and Sara Duterte (technically not a representative but rather a city mayor with a regional political party and a lot of national clout) could gain influence or lose points depending on how they handle the situation that can propel either or both to the Presidency or Vice Presidency.
Defensor apologizes to Sara for ‘text’ urging rejection of Cayetano
Pathricia Ann V. Roxa, inquirer dot net
July 10, 2019
PHOTO: Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor shows a text message from a neophyte House member from Davao, whom Defensor refused to name, to reporters on Tuesday, July 10, 2019. The text message claims Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has given him the go signal to inform lawmakers to reject Alan Peter Cayetano’s bid to become Speaker of the House of Representatives. (Photo by PATHRICIA ANN V. ROXAS / INQUIRER.net0
MANILA, Philippines — Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor has apologized to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for showing a text message supposedly stating that she was urging House members to reject President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement on the speakership.
On Tuesday night, Defensor showed reporters the text message which he said was sent by a neophyte congressman from Davao who was “very close” to the presidential daughter. But the Mayor later disowned the text message, branding it as “disinformation.”
The message reads: “Hi sir! I have the go signal of Mayor Inday to publish. ‘Kaya nanawagan siya ngayon sa lahat ng mga Congressmen na bumoto ayon sa kanilang kagustuhan dahil ang kanya ama ay na set-up lamang ng mga gahaman na gabinete na kaalyado ni Cayetano.’ – Mayor Inday.”
On Wednesday, Defensor denied saying that the text came from a congressman close to Sara. He said the mention of the congressman was referring to the meeting with the party-list coalition where two party-list congressmen discussed the Duterte Coalition’s continued fight despite Duterte’s endorsement of Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano as Speaker.
The lawmaker refused to name the congressman citing confidentiality of their discussion.
“I apologized to Mayor Inday Sara if I have in anyway offended her with my statement. I did not say it came from her or a congressman. In fact, I should not have shown it because reading it again it had Inday Sara’s name,” Defensor said in a statement.
“It was wrong of me to drag her name unfairly on this matter,” the party-list lawmaker added.
The Davao City Mayor also said it was Defensor who reached out to her through Atty. Charo Munsayac to “make last-minute requests for (Leyte) Rep. (Martin) Romualdez.” Defensor confirmed this.
“I didn’t want to bother Atty. Charo, my lawyer and a good friend of the Mayor, as regards political concerns but the turn of events on the speakership fight has left me and many of my colleagues confused and nonplussed on the matter,” the congressman explained.ADVERTISEMENT
Defensor, who had been supporting Romualdez, on Tuesday, said the speakership issue was already decided, but “the reality is there are still movements.” (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
Matapos ang mabigat na PAGKATALO ng Otso Diretso sa Inidoro sa nakalipas na halalan nitong 2019 na pinangunahan ni dating senador Mar Roxas at re-electionist senator Bam Aquino, tila nagbabago na ang ihip ng hangin sa hanay ng Partido Liberal. Maaalala na sa pagkapanalo ni Pangulong Duterte nuong 2016, nagumpisa na ang BALIMBINGAN ng mga kasapi at mga kakampi ng LP sa Senado, Kamara at sa mga lokal na pamahalaan. Yan ang dahilan kung bakit ang mga DILAWAN ay nagwagi nitong 2019 habang nakasakay sa hanay ng pamahalaan (Hugpong ng Pagbabago, PDP-Laban).
Tila nalagay sa alangnin o nakakatawa o sadyang pagkaipokrito lang na habang ang mga DILAWAN ay BUMALIMBING o sumanib sa mga koalisyon ng mga taga suporta ni Pangulong Duterte sa antas ng LGU at Kamara, ang mga kasapi at kaalyado naman nila sa Senado (Drilon, Pangilinan, De Lima at Hontiveros) ay patuloy sa pagtuligsa at pagbanat sa kasalukuyang administrasyon.
Sa politics, ang tawag dito ay DUAL TACTICS kung saan ang isang kamay ay inaabot para makipagkaibigan habang ang kabila naman ay gustong manampal o manuntok.
Maliwanag na OPORTUNISMO ang pakay ng mga 2019 LP sa Kamara sa PAGBALIMBING (gaya rin ng maraming 2016 LP sa Senado, Kamara at mga LGU). Gusto nila na makakuha pa ng boto sa mga mamamayan na lagpas 80% ay pro administration batay sa pinakahuling SWS survey. Bilang kasali sa mayorya sa House, umaasa sila na makakuha sila ng mga pwesto sa mga komite ng Kamara (higit na maraming kasapi ng majority coalition ang nabibigyan ng pwesto sa mga komite ng Kamara kaysa sa mapupunta sa minorya).
Hindi ba dapat na ang Liberal Party ay sumama sa oposisyon sa Kamara kung saan sila babagay. Malamang nakakakita na ang marami sa mga natitira pang mga kasapi ng Partido Liberal na kung hindi nila kaya umalis sa LP bilang mga indibidwal, mas mabuti pang sumama nalang ang House LP sa mayorya na nakahanay sa Pamahalaang Duterte upang makaakit pa ng mga boto mula sa mga botanteng kakampi sa kasalukuyang administrasyon. Isip ng mga LP sa Kamara na tuluyan na silang malalagas at mauubos gaya ng nangyayari sa Senado kung saan ang mga BUMALIMBING na sina Angara, Villar, Pimentel, at Poe na lahat ay kasama sa LP ticket o LP Senate Coalition ni dating Pangulong Aquino at nagwagi nuon ay lumipat sa Duterte Coalition at mga nagsipagpanalo (muli) habang sina Bam Aquino at Mar Roxas na nanatili sa LP ay natalo.
LP congressmen to join House majority: Erice
July 8, 2019
MANILA – Liberal Party (LP) members in the House of Representatives will join the House majority, Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice said Monday.
“Ang mayorya ng Liberal Party congressmen ay nag-usap na at ang desisyon ay maging kasapi kami ng mayorya, the majority. So we’ll be joining the majority. We’ll be in coalition with the other,” Erice told DZMM Teleradyo.
According to Erice, President Rodrigo Duterte made the right decision to formally endorse Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano as House Speaker.
“Palagay ko tamang panahon na para wakasan ang paglalaban-laban ng mga aspirants,” Erice said.
The Liberal Party earlier said it will decide between Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco for the House speakership in the incoming 18th Congress.
Erice said they chose both aspirants because of Velasco’s “new ideas” and ability to communicate with young legislators and Romualdez’s leadership and experience.
The LP stalwart also said Cayetano and former House Speaker Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, who are also vying for the speakership, are “unpopular” in the ranks of the House.
Following the President’s endorsement, Erice said Duterte made the right choice since Cayetano is a “veteran” congressman.
“Beterano naman po si Speaker Alan. Beterano na, congressman for three terms, naging senador, so alam na alam niya ‘yung gagawin niya doon sa Kongreso,” Erice said.