MANILA - Senator Grace Poe on Thursday lambasted the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for demanding emergency powers but failing to expound on how it will use the additional authority to ease the nightmarish traffic in Metro Manila.
In an interview with radio DZMM, Poe said the DOTr was supposed to submit a traffic plan but has yet to do so and even requested for more time.
She said a DOTr leader, whom she declined to name, requested for an extension of the deadline, pointing out that the Senate only gave them 30 days, half of the 60-day deadline that the House of Representatives has set.
Poe said she rejected the request because the Senate has already given DOTr enough time.
"Sabi ko, hindi. Kasi ang tagal-tagal na nito, wala ba kayong maisusumite agad? Hindi naman ito written in stone. Titingnan po natin kung ano dito iyung maayos na traffic plan," the senator told radio DZMM.
"Emergency powers nga ang hinihingi ninyo tapos gusto ninyo mas matagal bago ito maaksyunan."
(I said no because this has long been overdue and you have submitted nothing yet. This is not supposed to be written in stone. We'll look at what we could improve in the traffic plan. You're asking for emergency powers, yet you're taking too long to take action on this.)
Poe said such shortcomings on the DOTr's part delays the passage of the proposed traffic powers in the Senate even though majority of senators support the bill.
"Dito sa Senado, tingin ko, lahat naman kami nagkakasundo na biktima tayo ng traffic. Manhid lang naman ang hindi naiinis dito kaya sa tingin ko, makakapasa naman ito agad," she said.
(Here in the Senate, I think, all of us agree that we are victims of traffic. You have to be numb not to be irked with it so I think that the bill could be approved immediately.)