MANILA (Mabuhay) – President Rodrigo Duterte will convene an advisory body with lawmakers to boost his plans to overhaul the country’s creaking infrastructure and untangle crippling traffic jams in the capital, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said Tuesday.
The Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC), which is chaired by the President, will meet as early as next month, Pernia told reporters. Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino, convened the LEDAC only twice, compared to past presidents who met with lawmakers every quarter.
Duterte will propose drafting a national transport policy, amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer law to resolve “right of way” problems and raising the minimum cost for projects that will require approval by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board to P5 billion from P1 billion.
The measures will “fast-track the appraisal and approval process while still ensuring quality” of the projects, Pernia told reporters.
The LEDAC will also tackle amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) and the creation a “super body” for water resources, he said.
Pernia said immediate solutions to ease traffic in Metro Manila include constructing a bridge from Bonifacio Global City to Ortigas Center to divert 25 percent of traffic on EDSA.
The construction of a common station that will connect LRT Line 2 and the MRT 3 will also be fast-tracked, he said. The previous administration’s plan to retrofit the Guadalupe bridge, which will require its closure, will also be pursued