Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo recognized that the traffic problem has been persisting for decades, attributing it to the lack of infrastructure and the booming population.
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Panelo cool to Monday commute for government execs
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - October 16, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo the other night questioned the “purpose” of critics’ call for all top government officials to take public transport every Monday to understand the traffic problem.

“If that’s the sole purpose, malabo ’yun (it’s vague),” Panelo told “The Chiefs” aired on Cignal TV’s One News. “What’s the sense? If it’s suffering, we already experience that.”

The presidential spokesman also pointed out that one does not even have to ride the jeepney to experience Filipinos’ sufferings brought about by heavy vehicular traffic that has become a norm, particularly in Metro Manila.

“Araw-araw, nakikita mo ’yan. Araw-araw nakapila. Araw-araw, nakikita mo nagbubunuan sila para makasakay (Every day, you see it. Every day, people line up. Every day, you see them battling it out to get a ride)… You don’t have to go through that ordeal,” he said.

Panelo recognized that the traffic problem has been persisting for decades, attributing it to the lack of infrastructure and the booming population.

“Nagkamali sila ng hinamon kasi kami sa Cabinet, lahat kami laking kalye (They chose the wrong person to challenge because we in the Cabinet all grew up in the streets), except siguro si (maybe) Teddy Boy. But all of us, dumaan kami lahat diyan (we went through all of that),” he said.

“(N)aranasan ko na ’yan, parehong pareho lang (I’ve already experienced that. It’s exactly the same),” he added, comparing the difficulty in commuting when he was still a student and at present.

Citing the difficulty in taking public transport, Panelo emphasized the need for people to wake up early to get to their offices and appointments on time.

The spokesman also maintained that there is no mass transport crisis in Metro Manila, following his four-hour roundabout route from Quezon City to Manila last Friday after left-leaning groups and critics challenged him to use public transport to understand the plight of commuters.

Bashed by netizens, Panelo also defended his decision to take the commute challenge by riding jeepneys first from New Manila to Marikina and back to Manila.

Panelo added that President Duterte was happy upon knowing that he took the commute challenge last Friday.

SALVADOR PANELO TRAFFIC
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