- Ex-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo drafted a bill that would grant Duterte emergency powers to solve the worsening traffic in the country's capital
- Duterte will also be given several powers that can be used to address the problem and help boost the economic growth of the country
- If approved, it will last for two years
Former President and current Pampanga’s representative for second district Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has come up with a bill draft that would grant President-elect Rodrigo Duterte with emergency power to address the traffic condition in Metro Manila.
Arroyo stated that the solving the worsening traffic in the capital can help boost the country’s economic growth. The traffic can cost a lot of pesos in terms of fuel. It can also cost lives’ opportunities and labor productivity.
“One of the ways to speed up growth is to get infrastructure moving, either by government or by build-operate-transfer (BOT) or any of its variants," Arroyo noted.
"Contractors would have to accelerate the implementation and completion of infrastructure projects in Metro Manila in order to decongest it,” she added.
The bill drafted by the former president, called the Metro Manila Traffic Crisis Act of 2016, proposes that the incoming administration be given the power to enter negotiated contracts that involve the “construction, repair, rehabilitation, improvement or maintenance of critical infrastructure, projects and facilities subject to certain conditions.”
The proposal will also allow Duterte “to set a maximum internal rate of return of not more than 12 percent of the house-estimated project cost provided that any infrastructure project that has the capacity to yield such rate of return under commercial conditions may be undertaken on a BOT basis.”
Another item cover in the proposal is the special power of the incoming administration to reorganize the Metro Manila Development Authority in order to make it work and become more effective, responsive, and even innovative in terms of addressing the traffic crisis in Metro Manila.
Duterte will also have the power to create offices, transfer functions, split or merge groups, and so much more. He is also allowed to do drastic traffic reduction measures.
In the proposal, Arroyo also stated that the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) should “set aside 10 percent of its annual aggregate gross earnings for the next five years as subsidy to MMDA, provided that such percentage allocation shall be based on gross revenue after deducting the five percent franchise tax and the 50 percent income share of the national government.”
The emergency powers will last for two years from the time it is approved.