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In photo: Senator Grace Poe in an ambush interview after the public hearing

By Joanna Clarisse Sierte

SENATOR Grace Poe expressed her disappointment to the mayors who missed the third Senate public hearing yesterday about the proposed granting of emergency powers to solve the traffic dilemma in the metro.

The Senate Committee on Public Services headed by Poe wanted to discuss with the local chiefs the proposal to transfer the traffic enforcement to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Out of 14 mayors who were invited, only Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista and Calamba City Mayor Justin Chipeco attended.

The mayors of Manila, Taguig, Pasig, Pasay, Mandaluyong, San Juan, and Davao sent their representatives. The mayors of Caloocan, Makati, Muntinlupa, Cagayan de Oro, and Cebu neither attended nor sent a representative.

“We are thankful to those who came. But [it was] wrong [for the others to] not show up,” Poe said. “This was their chance to tell Secretary Tugade the problems they might encounter if there will be a central traffic authority”

Poe noted in her opening statement that the presence of the mayors is important because the committee would like to know how the proposed single traffic authority would impact on the roles and responsibilities of local governments.

With the recorded attendance, the senator criticized the leaders’ ability to prioritize pressing public matters.

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