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

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:

Oh #CynthiaVillar! Do the tanim palay challenge naman! Tapos bayaran ka namin 7 pesos per kilo! Labet — Chenez Veneracion (@ukkininam) October 11, 2019 magtanim ng palay challenge naman daw para kay Cynthia dapat magset muna ng rules para masimulate ang experience • walang puhunan • walang lupa • walang malaking machinery • walang matinong buyer (mga buyer ang nagdedecide sa presyo imbis na ang magsasaka) • etc — Ferge (@Suaberoneee) October 11, 2019 ang next challenge, pagawain si cynthia villar ng research. sa bobo niyang yun baka definition of terms lang maipasa niya charot — Not Dra Margie Holmes (@scorsaguin) October 11, 2019 After ni Panelo: Cynthia Villar Research Paper Challenge. — Kent Michael Hansen  (@TheKentHansen) October 11, 2019


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. 

Turukan ng dengvaxia si Persida Acosta challenge naman. — Chino Cruz (@ChinoCruise) October 11, 2019 Next challenge naman, turukan ng dengue si Acosta — . (@hoseokflowprint) October 11, 2019


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

panelo said yes, now, let’s challenge the marcoses to give back the millions they stole hakhak — 龙 (@angstymarq) October 11, 2019 Since sinimulan naman na ni Panelo, can we also challenge government officials to be admitted in public hospitals? — Sean Ingusan (@seaningusan) October 11, 2019 And our next challengers after Panelo, - Cynthia Villar for Corn Research Challenge. - Celine Pialago for Barurot Challenge. Catch'em @ Extra Challenge. Hosted by @IamEthylGabison — (@ceegreeen14) October 11, 2019 "AYUSIN MO TRABAHO MO" CHALLENGE NAMAN! — Extra Rai  (@ryansulit) October 11, 2019 Pagkatapos ni Sal Panelo, si Celine Pialago at Grace Poe naman ang mag-commute. Si Cynthia Villar naman ang challenge ay isang buong cropping season - from planting to post-harvest. — Tacio (@tacioDelinquent) October 10, 2019 Next Challenge: Mag-isip si Mocha Uson. — Jai Cabajardashian (@jaicabajar) October 11, 2019 May nag sabi kay Panelo Tokhang challenge naman daw. Wag naman si Panelo. Si Bato na lang. Tataniman s’ya ng shabu sa bulsa sabay kakaladkarin sa kalsada. Next .. alam na ng PNP yun. — Gabrielle  (@Gabgrielle) October 11, 2019


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! –

Marguerite de Leon

Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon heads Rappler’s Opinion section, and is (happily) wrangled into voice over and hosting work. She has been with Rappler since 2013, and also served as its social media producer for 6 years. She is also a fictionist.