LOOK: New Toyota PH president takes public transportation to see ‘daily struggles’ of Pinoys

'For me, it was a good learning experience,' says Toyota Motor Philippines president Atsuhiro Okamoto who capped his Metro Manila public transportation experience with a tricycle ride to Tondo

GO AND SEE. New Toyota Motor Philippines president Atsuhiro Okamoto rides a jeepney to experience the daily struggles of Filipino commuters. Photo from TMP President's Office / Hiro Okamoto Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – In his first week in the country, new Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) president Atsuhiro Okamoto decided to experience taking public transportation in Metro Manila.

In a viral Facebook post, Okamoto said, “I decided to do ‘Genchi Genbutsu,’ or to ‘Go and See’ the daily struggles of Filipino commuters.” (READ: [OPINION] Stop band-aid solutions, provide public transportation instead)

“I rode a bus, took a round trip of the MRT, rode the jeepney, queued for a long time to ride the UV Express, and lastly, took a tricycle ride to Tondo!” he added.

According to Okamoto, taking public transportation was a “good learning experience” which gave him a glimpse of the local mass transportation system in comparison to others in the region.

I realize that unlike Japan or Singapore, the Philippines’ current mass transport system is not enough to accommodate the huge number of daily commuters,” he said.

Okamoto also shared in the post that he would like Toyota “to take part in this big challenge to upgrade the quality of life for many Filipinos.” 

The Philippines poor public mass transportation system has made it a daily challenge for millions of people who endure long queues at train and shuttle stations, and lose time waiting for a ride or in traffic jams to and from work.

Some government officials had taken the challenge of commuting amid complaints over the dismal state of mass transportation in the country, particular in the National Capital Region.

In 2017, then spokesperson Harry Roque experienced a one-and-a-half-hour ride of MRT3 and Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT1). In October 2019, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo also took public transportation in his attempt to prove that a mass transportation crisis did not exist. – Rappler.com