House transpo panel chair to commuters: Sorry, you deserve better
MANILA, Philippines — An emotional Samar 1st District Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento apologized to commuters Wednesday for suffering from the “mass transport crisis” tormenting Metro Manila.
“Ako po’y humihingi ng paumanhin… kami po humihingi ng paumanhin sa mamamayan for your suffering. You deserve better in life,” pleaded Sarmiento, chair of the House transportation panel.
“I am a bit emotional because I can see the suffering of our constituents, a never-ending suffering and I wonder why despite the P4.1 trillion (proposed) budget duly passed by this House, we cannot even have the decency of a mass public transportation system,” he added.
It was Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes who concluded of a “mass transport crisis” in Metro Manila because of the power glitch and the mechanical issue the MRT-3 and LRT-1 faced last October 2 and 3, respectively.
A burning power rectifier also paralyzed the operations of the LRT-2 last October 3. It resumed partial operations from Cubao (Araneta City terminal) in Quezon City to C.M. Recto Avenue station in Manila on Tuesday morning.
Reyes, who attended the meeting, thanked Sarmiento for apologizing to commuters – a gesture he said other government officials are not doing.
While acknowledging that the problem has “no quick fix,” the activist said denying the issue and debating on whether there’s truly a crisis would not solve anything.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo was heavily criticized for denying the alleged mass transport crisis.
“Kasi nga nakakarating pa naman ‘yung mga dapat makarating sa kanilang paparoonan (Because commuters still arrive at where they are supposed to go),” Panelo reasoned.
Sarmiento also warned that he would issue subpoenas against secretaries of agencies related to transportation if they refuse to appear in the next meeting.
“Nakakainsulto yata sa mababang kapulungan. Kung nagpapatawag ang Senado andun kayo, nagpapatawag ang House of Representatives wala kayo. Hindi yata tama ‘yan,” the congressman said.
(It seems insulting to the lower chamber. You attend when the Senate calls for a hearing but when the House of Representatives summons you, you’re not here. That’s not right.) /kga
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