Netizens dare officials: Dengvaxia shot for Persida, rice planting for Cynthia

Marguerite de Leon
Netizens dare officials: Dengvaxia shot for Persida, rice planting for Cynthia
After Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo's commute stunt, netizens dare other officials to put their money where their mouth is

MANILA, Philippines – So, who’s next?

On Friday, October 11, netizens had much to say about Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo’s morning commute, which he undertook after progressive groups like Anakbayan had called on government officials to try experiencing Metro Manila’s woeful public transport system. 

Panelo, in particular, had even denied that there was a mass transport crisis prior to the challenge, but his commute from Marikina to Malacañang had taken 4 hours and 4 vehicle transfers. Netizens weren’t impressed by the effort, however, saying that he still hadn’t experienced the real commuter’s struggle since he had enjoyed special treatment.

As a jab to the whole “challenge” concept, some Filipinos also took to social media to dare other government officials with challenges – ones suited to the respective controversies surrounding them. 

Senator Cynthia Villar was recently under fire for criticizing the Department of Agriculture, saying they were spending too much of their time and budget on research. She has also earned the ire of local farmers for being a proponent of the Rice Tariffication Law, which has led to plummeting rice prices

Netizens thus challenged her to plant rice and do research:



Public Attorney Office (PAO) Chief Persida Acosta is often used as the face behind the current immunization crisis. In the aftermath of the Dengvaxia scandal, she is usually blamed for the various outbreaks of disease that have occurred due to Filipinos’ fear of vaccination – from dengue, to measles, and even polio

Netizens, then, would like her to get pricked by a needle, too. 


Here are other challenges posed on public officials, both specific and general:


What challenges would you pose to government officials? Or do you think the “challenge” mentality is problematic in the first place? Sound off in the comments section! –

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Marguerite de Leon

Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon heads Rappler’s Life and Style, Entertainment, and Opinion sections. She has been with Rappler since 2013, and also served as its social media producer for six years. She is also a fictionist.