MANILA- (UPDATE) Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo on Monday urged critics of his commute challenge to help the government solve the traffic problem instead of calling on more public officials to take public transportation.
Panelo, who went jeepney hopping and hitchhiking last Friday, said critics like Vice President Leni Robredo should send proposals to alleviate the traffic crisis instead of nitpicking on the Duterte administration.
"Tama na 'yang kritisismo. Ang gawin niyo na lang, 'yung mga mahilig maghamon eh magbigay kayo ng mga mungkahi kung papaano kayo makakatulong sa pamahalaan, mga magagandang proposal gaya ni VP Leni," he told reporters.
(Enough with the criticism. What you should do, those who like to challenge, is to think of ways to help the government, good proposals like VP Leni.)
The Duterte spokesman explained that criticizing government officials would not help in addressing the traffic problem plaguing the Philippine capital.
"Hindi makakatulong 'yan. Magbigay na lang kasi kayo ng proposal para makatulong kayo sa pamahalaan. 'Yun ang solusyon dun," he said.
(That won't help. Just give proposals so you can help the government. That's the solution.)
Robredo on Sunday slammed Panelo for playing down the traffic situation in the metropolis and urged the Duterte administration to admit that there is a transport crisis.
"'Yung nakakalungkot lang 'pag public official 'yung nagsasabing walang krisis. Kasi 'pag sinabi mong walang krisis, wala ka talagang gagawin, kasi para sa 'yo walang problema. Para sa atin, 'yung pinakaunang paraan para may gawin, 'yung pagtanggap na talagang malaki 'yung problema," she said.
(What's sad is when a public official says that there is no crisis. When you say that there's no crisis, you won't really do anything because you think that there's no problem. For us, the first step should be the acknowledgment of the problem.)
'READY TO HELP'
Robredo's camp meanwhile assured Panelo that the vice president is always ready to help the government not just in addressing the traffic problem.
“Handa naman lagi si VP Leni tumulong, dati pa naman siya nagbibigay ng mungkahi, 'di lang sa isyu ng traffic kundi sa iba pang problema,” lawyer Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson of Robredo, said Monday.
(VP Leni is always ready to help. She has been giving proposals before not just on the traffic problem but on other issues as well.)
Panelo had drawn flak for saying that there is no transport crisis. He instead insisted that what commuters are facing is a traffic problem and not a paralysis of public transportation.
"Mayroong traffic crisis pero hindi transportation crisis kasi when you say transportation crisis wala ka ng sinasakyan. Paralyzed ang buong traffic,” he told reporters last Friday.
(There is a traffic crisis but not a transportation crisis because when you say transportation crisis, it means you cannot get a ride anymore and that the whole traffic is paralyzed.)
Gutierrez however chastised the Duterte administration for still grappling for solutions to transportation problems since the President assumed office in 2016.
“Ang tanong lang, pagkatapos ng mahigit 3 taon sa puwesto, ngayon lang naghahanap ng solusyon ang gobyernong matagal nang nangangako ng mabilis na sagot sa traffic? Parang pati ata pagtugon sa traffic ay na-traffic din,” Gutierrez said.
(The question here is after over 3 years in power, why is it that the government is only looking for solutions to the traffic problem just now? It seems that the solution to the traffic problem also got stuck in traffic.) -with a report from Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News