Solon wants transport officials to use public transit monthly

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2019 01:46 PM

MANILA - Officials tasked with improving Metro Manila's decrepit mass transit system should use it at least once a month, a lawmaker said Monday. 

Millions of Filipinos in the capital grapple with packed trains that bog down regularly, long lines at transport terminals and pollution during their commute. 

Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo said he will file on Jan. 21 a House bill requiring transport officials to ride public vehicles monthly "so that they have first-hand experience of the problem." 

A typical commute on the MRT-3. Photo taken Nov. 23, 2017. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

"Empathy of government officials is necessary," Castelo, who chairs the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, said in the bill's explanatory note. 

The measure titled "Government Officials Public Transportation Duty" will cover leaders of the transport department, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), among others. 

The first ever subway in Metro Manila, which is expected to provide relief to millions of commuters, will be partially operational by 2022, according to the DOTr. 

The MRT 7, spanning 14 stations from Quezon City to Bulacan, will completed by the last quarter of 2019.

Transport groups meanwhile were given until 2021 to modernize their public utility jeepneys.