By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
President Duterte could be the Philippines’ permanent Chief Executive if he makes good his promises to cut the travel time from Quezon City to Makati to just five minutes and address flight delays within one month.
This was according to Senator Panfilo Lacson, when asked on his view regarding Duterte’s plan to make travel “smooth-sailing” from Cubao in Quezon City to Makati City. President eyed to cut travel time to only five minutes by December this year.
Duterte, after making a surprise inspection at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 early Monday morning, also promised to come up with a “remedy” on the flight disruptions within a month, according to a statement released by Malacañang.
“If PRRD delivers on just these two promises, (1) to cut travel time from Cubao to Makati to 5 minutes within 6 months and; (2) to eliminate flight delays in NAIA within one month, for being superhuman, he deserves to be president for life,” Lacson told reporters in a text message.
But if he fails to fulfill his promises, Lacson agreed that Duterte should be held accountable.
“Yes, he should be held to account for promising to solve the country’s drug problem as well as the corruption that remains unabated in some traditionally graft-ridden agencies,” he said.
While the promise sounded “good”, Senate President Vicente Sotto III admitted that he does not know how Duterte will fulfill his vow on the Cubao-to-Makati travel time.
“Sounds good but I have no idea how yet,” Sotto said in a separate text message.
The administration has since been pushing Congress to grant President Duterte the emergency powers to solve the traffic crisis in Metro Manila, one of his promises when he was still campaigning for the presidency in 2016.
But the bill languished in Senate, as senators were wary of the possible corruption in the vast authority requested over transport and traffic matters.
The House of Representatives, meanwhile, approved on third and final reading last December its version of the emergency powers bill.
The Lower Chamber, however, designated the Department of Transportation secretary as the “traffic chief” and gave him the authority to immediately solve land traffic and transport problems.
Sotto in a radio interview earlier said that the Senate might approve the requested emergency power in the 18th Congress “if really necessary.”
“Palagay ko, kung talagang kakailanganin, dito sa 18th Congress, mapapasa na (I think, if the emergency power is really necessary, it will be passed in the 18th Congress),” he told DZMM last May 29.