DOTr chief: Having transport problems doesn’t mean ‘crisis’

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
DOTr chief: Having transport problems doesnât mean âcrisisâ
Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said transport issues being experienced by Filipino commuters does not equate to a “transport crisis.”
The STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation on Thursday also downplayed the supposed “transport crisis” in Metro Manila.

For Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade, the current transport woes being experienced by Filipino commuters cannot be considered a “transport crisis.”

“Kagaya ng niliwanag ko, merong transport problem, merong transport issues — that is given, pero ina-address siya. Komo ba may transport problem, may transport issue, you know, meron nang transport krisis?” Tugade said.

(Like what I explained, if there is a transport problem, there are transport issues — that is given, but it is being addressed. So if there is a transport problem, there is a transport issue, you know, is there already a transport crisis?)

“Hindi pa ho dumaan sa ganun ‘yan. Tinatawag [‘yan] na exacerbating the situation,” he added.

(It hasn’t reached that. That’s called exacerbating the situation.)

Tugade was reacting to various sectors and lawmakers’ claims that there is a current transportation crisis in Metro Manila amid the displacement of thousands of commuters due to the temporary halt of operations of the LRT-2.

The LRT-2 runs from Recto Avenue in Manila to Santolan station in Marikina. It carries around 200,000 passengers daily.

The transport chief’s comment came days after chief presidential legal counsel and presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said there is no mass transportation crisis.

“What do they mean by transportation crisis? I just see traffic. There is transportation, we all manage to get a ride,” Panelo said Tuesday.

“People get to where they need to go. There is a solution here, if you want to arrive early (at) your destination, then you go there earlier,” he added.

READ: Transport crisis? No such thing, says Palace

Panelo’s statement also drew flak from commuters and groups who later on challenged him to take public transportation to experience the hardships of traveling in Metro Manila.

Instead of criticisms, Tugade called on the public to help the government in alleviating the monstrous traffic jam and transportation problems in the country.

“Dapat ‘pag nagexacerbate ka ng situation, dapat ‘wag yan ang gawin natin, magtulungan po tayo,” he said.

(If you exacerbate the situation, you should not do that, we should help each other.)

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority offered free rides to LRT-2 commuters from Cubao to Santolan area but was criticized for the lack of transportation contingency plans.

The traffic authority coordinated with the DOTr, Philippine Coast Guard, Land Transportation Franchise and Regulatory Board and LRT Authority in assisting the commuters.

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