Panelo takes commute challenge
LATEST UPDATE: October 14, 2019 - 12:02pm
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October 14, 2019

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo explains his "be creative" comment to commuters which got backlash, saying that what he meant was that Filipinos are "creative people" who are resourceful when confronted by a "hostile situation."

"It was not an offensive statement it was, in fact, praising the creativity of Filipinos," Panelo says in an interview over ANC's "Early Edition."

October 13, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo agrees that there is a transportation crisis in Metro Manila and says the government should prioritize fixing the mass tranpsortation system.

She adds some suggestions to decongest EDSA, like banning probincial buses, seem catered towards motorists and nor commuters.

"Kaya iyong pagsabing bus ban sa EDSA, nakakalungkot iyon, kasi parang... parang mas binibigyan mo ng... mas binibigyan mo ng puwang iyong comfort noong mga may-ari ng mga sasakyan. ‘Di ba dapat mas bigyan mo ng puwang iyong comfort ng mga walang sasakyan, na nagko-commute every day? Kasi ito naman iyong mas marami, eh. Ito iyong mas dumadaan sa matinding paghihirap," she says on her weekly radio program.

(The bus ban on EDSA is saddening because you're giving more weight to the comfort of owners of vehicles. Shouldn't there be more allowance for the comfort of those who don't have vehicles and commute every day? Because there are more of them. These are the people who suffer the most.)

Robredo adds presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo's jeepney rides to work show that there is a problem.

"Mabuti si Secretary Panelo, once niya lang naramdaman. Pero iyong mga kababayan natin, araw-araw ito iyong pakikibaka," she says.

(Secretary Panelo is fortunate that he only experienced it once. But our fellow Filipinos struggle with this every day.)

October 12, 2019

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo's field trip on Friday has revived a suggestion for government officials to take public transportation every Monday as Rep. Frederick Siao (Iligan City) says he will file a bill to require it.

Siao says "initially every Monday, all government vehicles used to fetch and bring home public officials from the division chiefs to cabinet secretaries to elected public officials would be grounded at their respective motor pools." He says that would take "thousands" of government vehicles off the streets and help decongest traffic.

He says "officials should commute at least every Monday so they will be reminded weekly of the suffering the masses endure on a consistent basis."

Siao also praises Panelo for his "good example" of taking public transportation. "His gesture can help show to the public that the government knows the situation on the ground and that Malacanang is not an isolated seat of government."

A similar proposal was filed during the 17th Congress but did not go anywhere.

October 11, 2019

Presidential spokesperson Sal Panelo's commute Friday did not satisfy progressive groups, who are now suggesting that he takes public transportation for at least a week to get a feel of what they call a "mass transport crisis."

He endured a nearly four-hour commute from Marikina to Malacañan Palace in Manila and admitted he had a tough time.

But he still insisted at a press conference afterward that a crisis does not exist and that commuters only need to be creative in finding ways to get to work.

October 11, 2019

Salvador Panelo, the spokesperson of President Duterte, admits that he had a tough time commuting but insists that there is no mass transport crisis in the country.

Panelo maintained his earlier denial of a transportation crisis even as he avoided taking the LRT-2 from his home in Marikina City to work at Malacañan Palace in San Juan, Manila.

October 11, 2019

Panelo hitches a ride on a motorcycle to get to Malacañang as he is surrounded by reporters asking about his commute.

He takes the motorcycle from J. P. Laurel to Gate 2 of the Malacañang complex.

October 11, 2019

Presidential spokesperson Panelo arrives at Malacañang compound after his almost four-hour commute from his residence in Marikina City. 

October 11, 2019

Rep. Arlene Brosas (Gabriela party-list) says the commute challenge of presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo will do little in addressing Metro Manila's public transport woes.

Brosas instead pushes for the restoration of the P455 million budget cut from the Light Rail Transit Authority for 2020. 

October 11, 2019

Panelo shares more photos of himself to show that he took the commute challenge. 

October 11, 2019

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo took a jeepney headed to Sta. Masa as he attempts to commute from home to Malacañang. 

According to the Palace official, he had been taking public transport even before he got flak for denying that there is a mass transport crisis in Metro Manila.



The Palace official takes the commute challenge after denying that there's a mass transport crisis in the country.

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