Not just for show: Anakbayan sets ground rules for Panelo's commute challenge
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo has accepted the challenge of Anakbayan, Kilusang Mayo Uno and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan to commute to work to experience the daily sufferings of commuters in Metro Manila.
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Not just for show: Anakbayan sets ground rules for Panelo's commute challenge

Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - October 10, 2019 - 11:40am

MANILA, Philippines — Progressive youth group Anakbayan has set some ground rules as presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo accepted the challenge to commute.

Earlier this week, the Malacañang mouthpiece said there is no mass transport crisis in Metro Manila, prompting Anakbayan, Kilusang Mayo Uno and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan to dare him to commute.

Panelo has accepted the challenge and said he would ride a jeepney and the LRT going to Malacañan on Friday.

Anakbayan spokesperson Alex Danday said the Malacañang spokesman should travel early morning during rush hour, without special treatment and bodyguards to brush off the crowd.

"(W)e are expecting the stint to be mere performance. To prevent this, the spokesperson must commute not only for a single day, but for a whole week," Danday said.

Anakbayan also noted that some government officials, such as Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority spokesperson Celine Pialago, have been silent on the issue.

The progressive group also challenged Tugade and Pialago to commute and undergo the everyday struggles of commuters.

"We are daring government officials not to trivialize the struggle of commuters but to forward legitimate concerns and solutions towards a pro-people mass transport system," Anakbayan said.

Panelo earlier said he does not see a transportation crisis in Metro Manila as commuters still get a ride where they need to go.

"Ano bang ibig nilang sabihin na transportation crisis? Ang nakikita ko lang traffic... May transportation namannakakasakay naman tayo lahat," Panelo said Tuesday.

(What do they mean by transportation crisis? I only see traffic jams... There is transportation, we can still get rides.)

He even pointed out that commuters should leave early if they want to arrive at their destination on time.

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