Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Monday in a press briefing that he has no problem in commuting every Monday if its purpose is to sympathize with those who use public transportation.
However, Panelo said that commuting is not necessary if it is only to let government executives experience commuting.
“Kung ang purpose lang nun ay para maranasan ng mga opisyales [magcommute] e gaya ng sinabi ko, hindi kailangan yun,” he said.
“Pero kung ang purpose mo every now and then magshare ka sa sympathy, walang problema din kami don,” Panelo continued.
Earlier, Iligan City Rep. Frederick Siao revealed his plan on proposing a bill that will require high-ranking officials to commute during Mondays, after Panelo accepted his “commute challenge”.
Siao believes that mandating public officials to take public transportation can help lessen the capacity of private vehicles on jam packed roads.
On the other hand, Panelo said that public officials like him have also gone through the difficulty of riding public transportation.
“Gaya ng sinabi ko, kaming nasa members ng cabinet, pinaglakihan na namin yung pagsakay ng bus, ng jeepney at tricycle… So lahat kami dyan dinaanan na namin yan.”
On Friday, October 11, Panelo took the “commute challenge” and it lasted him almost 4 hours before arriving in Malacañang.
Prior to that, he remarked that there is “no mass transport crisis” in Metro Manila. Aside from that, he suggested that commuters should adjust their travel time so they can reach their destinations on time.
With this, youth groups dared him to take public transport without bodyguards and special treatment.