House bill seeks 'special powers' for Duterte to move 'Build, Build, Build'

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President Rodrigo Duterte attends the inauguration of the Candon City Bypass Road in Ilocos Sur in July.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 13) — There's another proposal to grant emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte, this time, to speed up the completion of key infrastructure projects under the "Build, Build, Build" program.

Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda on Wednesday filed House Bill 5456, which seeks to give Duterte "special powers in adopting a national policy in speeding up the implementation" of the government's infrastructure development program.

Once enacted, the "Flagship Emergency Act of 2019" would allow the President "to urgently utilize all necessary government resources, exercise police power, and employ executive actions and measures." These will be effective for three years, or until Duterte's term in 2022, unless sooner withdrawn by a joint Congress resolution.

The executive's powers are "exclusively granted" for big-ticket projects in the government's priority list. Several projects that will stretch beyond the President's term have been dropped from this revised list.

The House bill also seeks to prohibit courts, except the Supreme Court, to issue temporary restraining orders or any directive that could stop the flagship projects.

The Constitution states that Congress may, in cases of war or national emergency, authorize the President "to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy" for a limited period of time.

Emergency powers were earlier sought for Duterte to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila. Duterte had given up on the proposal after it failed to hurdle the 17th Congress.

READ: Duterte: I won't beg for emergency powers to fix traffic in Metro Manila