Iligan Rep. Frederick Siao bared his plan to propose a bill that will mandate public officials earning P100,000 a month to commute at least once a week to help lessen traffic in Metro Manila.
In an interview with DZMM, Siao said that his proposal or the Public Servants Commuting via Public Transport Act, will only cover high-ranking officials whose salary grade is 26 and up. This means, it will include mayor, congressman, bureau chiefs, commissioners, cabinet secretaries, and other ranking officials.
“Considering Metro Manila, where the government officials are, I’m sure that will take out 1,000 to 2,000 individual vehicles [na mawawala] sa major thoroughfares naten,” he said, believing that this will lessen that traffic around the city.
Siao said that he will file his proposal as soon as Congress resumes its session the following month.
“Ipakita natin iyong empathy towards the riding public. Kailangan natin maranasan, especially high-ranking officials, kung paano pumila, makipagsiksikan gaya ng ordinaryong mamamayan,” he pointed out.
Moreover, the Iligan representative, who is also the vice chairman of the House public order committee, said public officials could give more relevant solutions to transportation crisis if they would get personal experience of it.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo took the “commute challenge” on Friday and this inspired Siao’s proposal.
On the other hand, traffic officials have already implemented existing and new ordinance across EDSA in recent months. They started to limit cross of buses to the rightmost lanes while buses from the provinces are prohibited to drop off and pick up passengers in areas out of their stations.
Meanwhile, Panelo said that he has no problem in commuting once a week as long as it serves to share sympathy with the commuters.
“Kung ang purpose lang nun ay para maranasan ng mga opisyales [magcommute] e gaya ng sinabi ko, hindi kailangan yun. Pero kung ang purpose mo every now and then magshare ka sa sympathy, walang problema din kami don,” he said.