After denying mass transport crisis, Panelo says he’s aware of commuters’ trouble

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Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

Following his remark that there is no mass transport crisis yet in Metro Manila, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo on Wednesday said he is aware of the plight of commuters.

“Just because I disagree with their theory of mass transport crisis does not mean I’m unaware of the vexing daily commute,” Panelo said via text message. 

In spite of acknowledging commuters’ burden, he maintained his stand, denying the existence of mass transport crisis in the metro. 

“Everybody suffers from that, that is a given but there is no mass transport paralysis hence there is no mass transport crisis. Even the nationwide transport strike failed in paralyzing the mass transport,” the Palace spokesman said. 

On Tuesday, in a press briefing in Malacañang, he claimed that there is no transportation crisis. He said this thinking that commuters in Metro Manila could still make it to their destinations anyway.

Panelo’s remark received a lot of criticism from netizens — some of it comes from youth groups who dared government officials to try commuting daily

Government’s ignorance

Meanwhile, according to the militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Panelo’s statement just shows the ignorance of the government to the public’s burden. 

“It only shows that Secretary Panelo obviously has no knowledge of the lives of commuter and mass transport crisis.  He knows nothing about the daily sufferings of people bearing miserable public transport conditions,” Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes said in a text message on Tuesday. 

On a different note, Panelo mentioned that problems in the Light Rail Transit are not impossible to solve and that its management is already acting upon it, though it has not been enough. 

“Management should do more in providing efficient service to the public,” said Panelo. 

However, Reyes on Monday said that crashing and suspended operations of three rail systems LRT-Line 1 (LTR-1), LRT-Line 2 (LRT-2), and Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) indicate a mass transport crisis. 

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