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Zarate to admin: ‘Instead of emergency powers for BBB, you need emergency brakes’

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Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate on Thursday scoffed at the proposal of Albay Rep. Joey Salceda for the grant of emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte to complete his Build-Build-Build infrastructure program.

“What is needed now is for the Duterte administration to step on the ’emergency brake’ of its ambitious but mostly debt-driven infrastructure program and not a grant of emergency powers,” the Makabayan lawmaker said.

“Why is it that this administration’s default answer to major problems is to ask for emergency powers even if the executive has vast powers at its disposable to address crisis,” Zarate added.

He was reacting to the suggestion of Salceda, chair of the House committee on ways and means, to give Duterte emergency powers to push his infrastructure program through procurement obstacles.

“Is this proposed new emergency power for Pres. Duterte geared really to fast track the BBB projects, or, so that they can fast track the demolition and displacement of affected urban poor communities with impunity? Or, is this another scheme of some unscrupulous individuals to make profit?” asked the Deputy Minority leader.

“Noong dati kating-kati talaga silang mailusot ’emergency powers’ for transportation crisis and some individuals, including administration officials, have been pushing for it since 2016,” he noted.

“Ngayon ay emergency powers naman for BBB project. Is there an ulterior motive behind this push other than to supposedly solve the worsening traffic and public transport problem in the metro and slow project implementation?” Zarate said.

“This ’emergency power’ proposal should be studied with serious caution as it may even cause more problems for Filipinos,” he said.

“Nilagay ang mga batas sa procurement at iba pa para mabantayan ang corruption at pagsagasa sa mga karapatan ng mamamayan. Hindi uubra na kada may gusto ang administrasyon ay emergency powers na lang palagi ang hinihingi,” Zarate said.

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