The City Council is mulling the reclassification of national roads in Puerto Princesa as an option to break off the national law banning the three-wheeled vehicles from national highways.
Councilor Elgin Damasco, former chairman of the transportation committee, said Monday morning that President Rodrigo Duterte might be able to do something to reclassify into city roads Rizal Avenue, the national road along Barangay San Pedro, and Malvar Street.
“We can ask our [chief] executive, through a resolution para masolusyunan natin itong tricycle ban,” he said.
Damasco also wants to ask President Duterte to amend Section 458 of the Local Government Code (LGC) to grant autonomy in terms of regulating tricycles within the jurisdiction of the city.
However, Councilor Patrick Hagedorn pointed out that such powers were lodged solely on Congress explaining that, “reclassifying road is not an executive power, but an act of Congress.”
Damasco yielded on Hagedorn’s argument and moved that Congressman Gil Acosta be requested to submit such proposals.
Meanwhile, Councilors Nesario Awat and Henry Gadiano maintained that deliberating on “mini solutions at the problem at hand” may not be a wise way forward considering the imminence of the national law being implemented by February 15.
“The time is not today to deliberate. We should put these on hold and let the public hearing conclude first,” Gadiano said.
“It is wiser to declare up to Honda Bay and Barangay Irawan as poblacion area so the City Council will have the right. It is a matter of evolved power to the local government unit (LGU),” Awat added.
Gadiano also pointed out that such a move may put the city government at risk of getting an additional financial burden by divesting off the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) of their national road responsibility.
“It sounds pretty good pero are we ready? I’m sure DPWH will be happy about it because they will be unburdened but the shift to the city government in terms of cost in repair and management? Ngayon pa lang hindi natin maayos ang mga daan sa ibang barangay,” Gadiano explained.
The resolutions were tabled for a committee hearing to be chaired by the Committee of the Whole, and Committee on Legal Matters expected to convene any time this week.