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Emergency traffic powers hits snag

CHAOS on Metro Manila streets INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

TRANSPORTATION Secretary Arthur Tugade may not hold the title “traffic crisis manager” after the House of Representatives committee on transportation held the proposal in abeyance, citing “conflict of interest” among officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

The committee headed by Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento deferred deliberation on the DOTr’s proposed 40-page draft that would give more authority to Tugade, as part of the emergency powers package for President Duterte.

A press statement issued yesterday quoted Sarmiento as saying that Tugade had to first provide lawmakers with the “details and define the parameters of the proposed emergency powers.”

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, coauthors of the bill to grant emergency powers to address the traffic crisis, shared the sentiment that industry players with links to Tugade and other DOTr officials might benefit from the emergency powers.

In the statement, Suarez said Tugade and Undersecretary Noel Kintanar had taken part in the Metro Rail Transit-Light Railway Transit Common Station project “since both were former executives of the contractors involved in the project.” Nikko Dizon

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