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Drilon slams infra emergency powers

Hananeel Bordey

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Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Thursday lambasted the proposal to give President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers that will hasten the implementation of the administration’s flagship projects.

In a statement, Drilon said that there is no need for that kind of emergency power – which was earlier proposed by Albay Rep. Joey Salceda as he filed House Bill 5456 which seeks to give the President special powers to fast-track the implementation of the administration’s Build, Build, Build program.

“I do not see the need for emergency power. The emergency power for transportation has been there for years and they cannot come to an agreement because they do not know what their plans are,” said Drilon.

The senator reiterated that the problem of underspending could be addressed if there are enough engineers that the government will employ to implement the projects.

“If you need 2,000 engineers in the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways), you won’t need emergency powers, which is identified as a shortcoming. You do not need an emergency power to make sure that you spend the money allotted on time,” Drilon said.

Drilon previously questioned the BBB program of the government after they found out that only nine out of 75 big-ticket infrastructure project has commenced at the half of the Duterte administration.

The list of huge projects under the infrastructure program of the administration was revised as it was transferred to Presidential Adviser for Flagship Projects or the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) headed by President and CEO Vince Dizon from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

The previous list was composed of 75 big-ticket projects but it was revised to a more feasible list of projects containing 100 projects.

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