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Atienza warns peers vs rushing ‘emergency powers’ on traffic

Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza yesterday cautioned his colleagues against being stampeded into approving House Bill No. 4334 or the Traffic Crisis Act of 2016 that would give emergency powers to different departments of government to address the seemingly unsolvable traffic mess.
“Let’s go slow on this bill’s approval. This is not the solution. This would only aggravate the situation since it does not address the real cause of the traffic gridlocks in Metro Manila and other urban cities — corruption,” Atienza said.
According to former Manila City mayor, giving emergency powers that would suspend laws on bidding and procurement, might only open the floodgate to more corruption.
“Traffic enforcers are not enforcing the law. They are looking the other way and allowing corrupt interests to take precedence over performing their sworn task,” the solon noted.
Atienza even cited cases of continued proliferation of illegal bus and jeep terminals.
“On several major intersections, they let private motorists wait for five to 10 minutes while they give priority to buses and jeepneys coming from the perpendicular roads,” said the solon.
“Why, are they receiving something? Instead of letting these enforcers impose their will and control the traffic lights, why don’t we install intelligent traffic lights systems which utilize actual road conditions and allow smoother flow of traffic,” he added.
Atienza pointed out that aside from corruption, is the apparent refusal of authorities to clear alternate routes to alleviate congestion on major roads.
Secondary roads that can serve as alternate routes are still littered with illegally parked vehicles, basketball courts, and even houses in the middle of the streets. Aside from the continued presence of so many obstructions on these alternate routes, barangays are being allowed to put up gates within their communities, closing roads which should be open 24 hours a day to serve as alternate routes.
“Our main mass transport system that serves Metro Manilans, the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), has badly deteriorated and continues to bog down everyday, sometimes leaving thousands of commuters with only 3 to 4 working coaches at any shift instead of the needed 15 to 17,” said the party-list representative.
“How can we expect commuters and motorists to again make sacrifices when someone has yet to be penalized? Why has no one been punished for the purchase of 48 trains which are not fit for our rails? Neither the maintenance contractor nor the government officials responsible for this anomalous transaction have been punished,” he stressed.
“They should be languishing in jail by now. The MRT is the only fast and usable mass transport system we have, it should have been protected from corruption.” He added.
“And now we want to accord them emergency powers, and exemption from the bidding and procurement laws? Unimaginable corruption would be the end result,” Atienza said.
Instead of asking for emergency powers, Atienza said the government should do its job and exhaust all means to address the traffic mess in Manila and other urban areas.
Atienza, also a former Environment secretary, said that efficient and honest to goodness enforcement of existing laws is what the country needs to solve the worsening traffic problem.
“But as long as corruption exists, there will be no solution to this problem. We reiterate our advice to our colleagues, HB 4334 is not the solution. This would only aggravate the problem. President Duterte has repeatedly said, and he is correct in saying that corruption remains one of the biggest problems of the nation,” Atienza stressed. 

1 comment

  • Architect Lito L.Mallonga FUAP

    Hindi PA ba tayo madala dala noong mag order ng helicopter panahon ni dating Pres. Arroyo kulang ng spare parts at kadalasan bumabagsak ni hindi pa man mataas ang lipad. Zm
    mismong mga general ayaw gamitin at sumakay dito. When will we ever learn. Ang Canada subok na.
    Iyong Canadian Arm na ginagamit sa Space Seattle ng USA kung wala ito kaya bang mag repair sila sa labas. Nada.itong ☎ imbento ng Canada. Kung wala ito makakausap mo be pamilya mo lalong lalo na kung nasa ibang bansa ito

    Architect Lito L.Mallonga FUAP Monday, 19 February 2018 12:53 Comment Link

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