Panelo still claims no mass transport crisis in MM only traffic crisis
MANILA, Philippines—Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo insisted Friday that there is no mass transport crisis in Metro Manila even after he traveled for nearly four hours to reach Malacañang via four jeepney rides and a free backride on a motorcycle.
“Merong traffic crisis, hindi transportation crisis. When you say the transportation crisis, wala kang sinasakyan, paralyzed ang buong traffic. [There is a traffic crisis (in Metro Manila), not a transportation crisis. When you say the transportation crisis, everything is paralyzed],” Panelo told reporters in a Palace briefing.
Panelo took on the commute challenge of militant groups on Friday morning. He had to take four jeepney rides to reach Manila from Marikina City at 5:15 a.m.
Panelo explained that he started commuting from New Manila in Quezon City to Concepcion in Marikina City before going back to Cubao, Quezon City where he took a jeepney ride bound for Manila.
He said that he purposely went around commuting to witness the traffic situation himself.
The Palace official claimed that commuting has worsened but it can’t be called a crisis yet because commuters can still get rides.
While he acknowledged that there is indeed a lot of problems hounding the transportation system, Panelo said the government is “doing something about it” even after Congress refuses to grant President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers to address the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila.
“There is traffic crisis precisely because of the conditions like the volume of cars which cannot be accommodated by our roads, many motorists violate traffic rules and also the inefficient traffic management,” he said in Filipino.
Panelo recently drew flak for his comment denying the existence of a mass transport crisis gripping Manila, after its three major transit lines — the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2, and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 — suffered a series glitches last week.
He also said that commuters should leave early if they wish to arrive at their destinations on time. /jpv
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