Senator Nancy Binay expressed disappointment over the decision of the government to disallow jeepneys and other public transportations to operate amid the General Community Quarantine in Metro Manila.
In a statement on Tuesday, Binay asked the Department of Transporation (DOTr) about their plans to the people only relying on using public transportations.
According to her, the officials of DOTr were fortunate enough to have private vehicles to go to their offices while some people were forced to walk just to go to their work.
She challenged the officials to commute to their work so they could experience what’s happening every day to the simple Filipinos.
“Ano ba talaga ang plano ng DOTr sa commuters? Three months under ECQ and still they have no clear plan in place. What happened to foresight? Mabuti sila’t aircon ang mga sasakyan. Eh kung subukan kaya ng mga opisyal ng DOTr mag-commute mula sa kani-kanilang bahay papasok sa opisina nila (sa Clark City o Ortigas)? Dapat maramdaman nila ang hirap na pinagdadaanan ng mga commuter. They won’t be able to plan well if they don’t feel and understand the people’s daily struggles,” the senator pointed out.
“Napaka-unfair sa commuters na yung mga private vehicles walang restrictions bumyahe. Napaka-limitado ng choices nila. DOTr knew that Metro Manila and the rest of the regions will soon be transitioning to the new normal. They knew that 30% of those in NCR will start going to work by June 1–tapos ang idi-deploy eh truck ng libreng sakay which compromise and breach all health protocols particularly physical distancing,” she added.
Binay said that DOTr is only “favoring a certain segment of the mass transport sector” while ignoring the biggest segment of the public transport in NCR.
“Healing is not abandoning one of the most vulnerable sectors that move people and economy. When you exclude the jeepneys from the equation, you also have abandoned 250,000 families–and their children are the ones who suffer the most,” the senator explained.
The senator then pointed out that the government should not expect that the private sector would provide transportation to their employees.
“Di po lahat ay may kotse. Di lahat ay may motorsiklo o bisikleta. Di lahat kayang maglakad ng ilang kilometro sa gitna ng baha at ulan. Di po sila experiment. Our workers and the commuting public don’t deserve this kind of treatment. For the past three months, they’ve sacrificed more than enough,” Binay said.
DOTr only allowed point-to-point buses, taxis, shuttle services, and bicycles may operate during the GCQ from June 1 to 21.
Starting June 22 to 30, public utility buses, modern public utility vehicles, and UV express vans may operate but with limited passenger capacity.
They also consider allowing some jeepneys to operate starting June 22.
Meanwhile, Transporation Secretary Arthur Tugade asked the employers to provide a shuttle service to their employees while public transportation was still insufficient.