MANILA, Philippines – This is not new at all. President Rodrigo Duterte’s former spokesman Harry Roque did it. And, now, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo is taking on the challenge of commuting from his home in Marikina City to Malacañang on Friday, October 11.
“The challenge to commute is accepted. This coming Friday, I’ll take the jeepney and the LRT in going to work,” he told reporters in a message Wednesday night.
This recent development came after progressive groups like Anakbayan called on government officials to try commuting to experience the daily hardships faced by Filipinos who cannot afford their own cars.
Will Panelo survive the long lines, hours of waiting, and horrendous traffic that commuters endure every day?
For many Filipinos online, Panelo should do the challenge on one condition: there should be no “special treatment.”
For some netizens, Panelo should even do it for a week, not for a day, so he could experience the struggle of a regular commuter.
For some, however, even a week is not enough.
Rizaldy Mosura called on government officials to experience what an ordinary commuter has to go through every day so they would understand what the people need.
This commute challange came on the heels of Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT2) stations getting shut down and the ongoing repair of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) that have caught commuters in hours-long traffic.
Panelo earlier refuted the observation of leftist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan that there was a mass transport crisis, earning the ire of lawmakers and ordinary commuters.
“If you want to go, arrive early [at] your destination, then you go there earlier,” Panelo said.
On Thursday, October 10, Panelo said he would make sure his commute will have zero media coverage. He won’t tell media what time and from where he is commuting.
Here’s what other netizens had to say about the presidential spokesman’s plan to commute:
Duterte has admitted failure in addressing EDSA traffic jam, but has presented no plans on how to immediately address the current crisis.
Many proposals have been submitted to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to address traffic woes, but commuters have branded them as band-aid solutions, if not downright ridiculous.
Commuters and traffic advocates are calling for accountability. They are asking the government to provide accessible and hassle-free transportation options to Filipinos because they deserve better. (READ: [OPINION] Stop band-aid solutions, provide public transportation instead)
As a regular commuter, what survival tips would you give Panelo? – Rappler.com