Abaya apologizes for ‘fatal’ remark on traffic
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya on Thursday issued an apology for his statement that traffic in Metro Manila is “not fatal.”
Abaya, who uttered the words “Hindi naman siguro fatal yan” over TV Patrol on Monday, has been criticized because of the remark.
“I extend my deepest apologies to the public, for an off-the-cuff statement made earlier in the week, which understandably came across as reckless and insensitive,” the secretary said in a statement.
“I am aware that what I said has only added to the frustration and the suffering of the public. I am profoundly sorry for this,” he added.
Abaya said the government is “aware of the situation” that is faced by everyone, including him.
“Please be assured that we are doing everything in our power and exerting the maximum effort to ease traffic in Metro Manila and the surrounding areas. Some of these solutions will take time,” he said.
Abaya explained that his comments pertained to the traffic that resulted from the Light Rail Transit (LRT) 2 extension project.
“While construction will take 2 years, this is precisely the infrastructure needed to ease traffic congestion in the area. Our goal in extending the rail system to Masinag is to provide a more efficient and reliable commuting option to those affected,” he said. “We humbly ask for your patience and understanding in these matters.”
Before Abaya issued his apology, a spokesperson of Vice President Jejomar Binay critiqued the Secretary for his “insensitive statement.”
“Such an insensitive statement can only come from an administration that is manhid at palpak (insensitive and inept). We lose at least 20,000 work hours per day. The economy loses billions to traffic. The air and noise pollution cause illnesses to commuters and motorists. Yet the DOTC chief is actually telling us: buhay pa naman kayo di ba (you’re still alive right)?” Rico Quicho said.Kristine Angeli Sabillo/JE
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