Commuters wait for an alternative ride along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City on Monday morning, Sept. 30, 2019, due to the nationwide transport strike by some PUV drivers and operators.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
No mass transport crisis? Try commuting, KMU challenges Panelo
Franco Luna ( - October 9, 2019 - 11:35am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang spokesperson Salvador Panelo should probably try commuting for a whole week, workers group Kilusang Mayo Uno said on Wednesday.

"[Ito ay] nagpapakita lang na wala siyang pag-alam sa kalagayan ng ating mga commuters at modes of transportation sa Metro Manila." KMU Secretary General Jerome Adonis said in a statement sent to, speaking about Panelo's earlier remark disputing what many have called a transport crisis in Metro Manila.

The group bemoaned the deteriorating conditions for everyday commuters and called for accountability from the government. 

"Paano’ng walang krisis sa transportasyon kung nagkandasira na ang mga tren, [mahaba] ang pila sa mga istasyon, at siksikan at puro sabit sa mga jeep, at kandahirap ang ating mga kababayan papunta at pauwi sa trabaho o eskuwela?" Adonis voiced.

"Huwag nilang takasan ang pananagutan at responsibilidad nila dito. Bilang gobyerno, sila ang dapat nagtitiyak na may episyenteng transportasyon para sa masa."

(How can you say there is no crisis in transportation when the trains are breaking down, the lines at the stations are long, and the jeeps are jam-packed with people hanging by their rails, and our people struggle just to go to and from work or school? The government cannot dodge their responsibility here. As our government, it should be them ensuring efficient transportation for the masses.)

This comes after Panelo asserted his knowledge of the situation in a text message sent to reporters after he was hit by militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.

“What do they mean by transportation crisis? I just see traffic. There is transportation, and we all still manage to get a ride to where we need to go,” Panelo said in Filipino on Tuesday.

Adonis in the same statement challenged Panelo to experience the plight of commuters to corroborate his earlier statements.

"Hinahamon namin siyang bumiyahe sa EDSA mula North EDSA o kaya mula Santolan papuntang Maynila, papunta at pauwi mula Malacañang para makita niya ang kalagayan ng ating mga kabababayan," KMU said. 

(We challenge him to travel to EDSA from North EDSA or from Santolan to Manila, to and from Malacañang so he sees the state of our people.) 

The statement is only the latest in a long tumult of public outrage over what BAYAN has called a crisis in mass transportation. All three of Metro Manila's mass transit lines broke down this week, while transport groups protested the PUV modernization program last September 30. 

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