Poe warns against abuse of emergency powers when granted

Senator Grace Poe expressed that granting emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte in order to solve the country’s problem in traffic was “not that easy.” She also warned against possible abuse particularly with the government seeking trillions of pesos for its infrastructure projects.

As chair of the Senate committee on public services, Poe stated that safeguards are needed to be put into action in order to assure that the emergency funds will be properly utilized.


In a student forum at De La Salle University last Saturday, Poe disclosed, “Let me tell you, we want to give that emergency powers already but it’s not that easy… With the emergency powers, we have to be careful. Because they want to spend eight trillion pesos, can you imagine how much money that is? I said, we will give it but we need to put safeguards para hindi tayo pwedeng pagnakawan.”

Poe adds, “But even if we give that to them, you think traffic will be solved immediately? No. A lot of the things they can do now, like clearing the places with no parking zones, by making sure that there are enough parking lots, by making sure that law enforcers are actually doing their jobs.”

Before the year ends, the Senate is expected to approve the emergency powers bill.

This special powers would allow the President to carry out selective bidding, direct contracting, or negotiated procurement for projects with the main objective of dealing with the crisis on traffic. In addition, temporary restraining orders against these projects would only be authorized by the Supreme Court under this bill.


Poe is wary that granting emergency powers would be detrimental as the last time these powers were granted did not turn out well because the government had to “contract out more power plants,” referring to former President Fidel Ramos’ term wherein frequent brownouts occurred in the 1990s.

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