Panelo aware of Metro commuters’ plight, maintains no transpo crisis stand
MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo on Wednesday stressed that he is well aware of the travails commuters go through daily, after drawing flak for earlier declaring there is no transportation crisis in Metro Manila.
The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said Panelo’s remark on the situation of the National Capital Region’s mass transportation system is an indication of the ignorance of the government regarding the plight of commuters.
“Just because I disagree with their theory of mass transport crisis does not mean I’m unaware of the vexing daily commute,” Panelo told reporters in a text message.
While claiming that “everybody” suffers from the horrible traffic, the Palace official stood his ground and maintained that there is no “mass transport crisis” in Metro Manila.
“Everybody suffers from that, that is a given but there is no mass transport paralysis hence there is no mass transport crisis. Even the nationwide transport strike failed in paralyzing the mass transport,” he said.
LRT, MRT blues
Panelo also claimed that glitches at the Light Rail Transit (LRT) are “solvable” and its “management is doing something about it, but unfortunately not enough.
“Management should do more in providing efficient service to the public,’ he said.
On Monday, Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes said glitches at the LRT- Line 1 and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3, as well as the suspension last week of LRT Line 2’s commercial operation due to an electrical fire are indicators of a mass transport crisis.
‘Commuters make it to their destinations’
But in a press briefing in Malacañang Tuesday, Panelo denied the existence of such crisis, even claiming that Metro Manila commuters can still make it to their destination with ample adjustments.
That statement drew flak on from netizens, some of whom dared government officials to try commuting to work daily. /gsg
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