Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo accepted the challenge of some netizens to commute on his way to Malacanang to experience traffic.
In a text message, Panelo said that he would ride a jeepney and LRT to Malacanang on Friday to prove that there’s no mass transport crisis under the Duterte administration.
“I stand by my statement: there is no mass transport crisis. The crisis is in the sufferance of commuters and motorists; while the other crisis is in the inefficient operation and maintenance of the LRTs – the crisis is in its poor management,” Panelo said in his statement.
“We will not allow it to be constant and permanent. Everyone who commutes or drives suffers every day but solutions to solve it are not insuperable, and this administration is doing its best to provide not just immediate but also long-term solutions,” he added.
Panelo has been criticized by several groups for downplaying the traffic around Metro Manila, suggesting that people should travel early if they want to avoid inconvenience.
“Wala. Kasi nga makakarating pa naman ‘yung mga dapat makarating sa kanilang pupuntahan,” he said in a press conference two days ago.
“If you want to go, arrive early in your destination, then you go there earlier,” he added.
Meanwhile, a youth group said that Panelo should do the challenge without his bodyguards and commute to Malacanang during rush hour.
“First of all, travel during early morning rush hour. Second, no special treatment—no bodyguards to brush off crowd. Third, we are expecting the stint to be mere performance. To prevent this, the spokesperson must commute not only for a single day, but for a whole week,” Anakbayan said in a statement.