“Marami tayong priority bills na kailangang ipasa sa lalong madaling panahon gaya nung pag-address sa crisis in traffic sa Metro Manila and Metro Cebu,” thus spoke House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez during a political party’s fellowship in Makati City.
At the resumption of Congress’ session, his fellow representatives and senators may take a twist – and turn a bill automatically into President Rodrigo Duterte’s emergency power to resolve the traffic problems.
Duterte won the presidency in part due to his enlivening promises, one of which was to end metropolitan road users’ miseries.
He understood their sad plight, adding that, in fact, he was caught deeply in traffic when Pope Francis visited parts of Luzon and the Visayas.
“Gusto kong tawagan, ‘Hoy, (invective) Pope, umuwi ka na!” the then Davao City mayor said during one of his presidential campaign sorties.
This became part of his apologies to the Roman Catholic leader later.
Sensing urgency of the problem, the Davao del Norte Rep. Alvarez said: “Kinakailangan ang emergency powers dito dahil masyadong malaki ang problema…Pero bigyan natin ng limit. Say, two years lang tapos meron pa rin tayong oversight functions. Para kung may pang-aabuso ay tanggalin natin.” DC Alviar