PRESIDENTIAL Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino wants President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to include solving Metro Cebu’s traffic problem in his list of priorities.

This, as Duterte is seeking emergency powers from Congress to solve the traffic problem in Metro Manila.

In an interview with Sun.Star Cebu, Dino said he already discussed the matter with incoming transportation secretary Arthur Tugade during a meeting in Davao City last Monday.

“I think they should include Cebu because our traffic situation is also a very big problem not only for the rich but also for the poor people,” he said.

Proposed emergency powers for Duterte will allow the National Government to supersede injunction orders against measures that can resolve the traffic crisis. The emergency powers will be effective for as long as two years.

Damaging to economy

Dino said road congestion has affecting all sectors of society, particularly the metro’s economy.

“Were losing millions already because of traffic… I told them when they give the president extra powers for Metro Manila, they should also include Metro Cebu,” he said.

Dino said that some of Duterte’s incoming Cabinet members were receptive of his suggestion.

“There’s a big chance that it will really happen. I’m really pushing for it and I will push hard,” he said.

He said Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez asked him to submit traffic data, such as the number of vehicles, issues of road right-of-way acquisition, among others, in the metro.

Alvarez is said to be Duterte’s pick to be Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Sought for comment, Lapu-Lapu City Rep. Aileen Radaza and Mayor Paz Radaza said they support the move, considering the traffic in Metro Cebu is among the priorities that need immediate solution.

“The proposed granting of emergency powers to President Duterte to solve this problem will have the full support of Lapu Lapu as this will provide smooth transit not only in the city but hopefully the entire Cebu province as well,” Aileen said.

In another development, Duterte will be in Cebu five days before he takes his oath as the next president of the Philippines to attend the thanksgiving celebration organized by the #Call4Change group, which campaigned for him in the last elections.

Confirmation

Speaking during the 888 News Forum, Atty. Christopher Ruiz, businessman Marc Canton and public relations executive Doris Mongaya said they expect 50,000 to 80,000 persons to attend the celebration on June 25 at the South Road Properties.

Dubbed as “One Love, One Nation,” the event will kick off at 4 p.m. with various performances by local and Manila-based artists. The event is expected to end around 10 p.m.

“Minus any unforeseen circumstances… incoming President Duterte has already confirmed that he will come to personally express his gratitude to all Cebuanos, who delivered a big win for him last May,” Ruiz said.

Duterte won an overwhelming victory in Cebu during the May 9 elections, garnering 1,022,805 votes, or 296,246 in Cebu City alone and 726,559 votes in Cebu Province.

The #Call4Change is an alliance of parallel groups that campaigned for Duterte in Cebu. It was initiated by the Duterte Campaign Team under national campaign manager Jun Evasco.

Mongaya, the Campaign Team Visayas media coordinator and member of the organizing team, said the party is anticipated to draw thousands of supporters and is open to everyone.

The event will be hosted by Arnel Ignacio, Kat de Castro, Keanna Reeves. Among the performers will be Dulce Amor, Max Surban, Tres Marias and Saicy A, among others.

Mongaya said a Halad Pasalamat will be held at the Plaza Independencia before the party, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Free medical and dental checkups and legal aid will be offered, among others.