No more guest of honor appearances for Duterte in Manila
President Rodrigo Duterte will not be showing up as a guest of honor in events in Metro Manila anytime soon.
In an open letter to Filipinos read by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Sunday, Duterte has declined invitations extended to him by individuals and organizations in the Metro Manila area so as not to further aggravate the worsening traffic situation in the metropolis.
“While I consider it as a privilege and responsibility to be in touch with the people, I have to decline again and again due to a very simple reason: as President, my travels always include protocols and security measures which create traffic congestion and disturb the flow of everyday lives and activities.”
“As it is, we are still being burdened by traffic issues in the Metro Manila area. It only seems prudent and sensible not to add unnecessary stress in our efforts of creating comfortable lives that include all,” Duterte said in his open letter.
He then apologized to those who invited him as guest of honor in their events.
Duterte said he would refuse invitations indefinitely until his administration had effectively addressed the traffic issues in Metro Manila.
“Until such time as we effectively addressed these matters, please understand that I may need to decline your warm and respectful invitations. My deepest apologies. But please bear in mind that I only have your, the people’s, and the nation’s best intentions at heart,” the President said.
Duterte has expressed his intention to ask Congress for emergency powers to address the traffic problem in Metro Manila.
Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has also announced his plans to solve the traffic gridlock in the nation’s capital region, which include implementing unified traffic rules and constructing a cable car system. JE/rga
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