MANILA- Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo assured activist- leader Renato Reyes on Tuesday that the government has a plan to address the country's transportation woes after the latter challenged the Palace to come up with a “comprehensive” strategy to solve the problem.
Panelo urged Reyes to instead suggest solutions to problem since the latter claims that President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program is not enough.
“Ang alam ko mayroong plano ang gobyerno diyan. Baka si Renato, may mungkahi para makatulong,” Panelo said.
(I know the government has a plan on that. Maybe Renato has a suggestion so he can help.)
Reyes, secretary-general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), said the government should form an “integrated transportation network” to ease commuters’ woes.
“Sa halip na hiwa-hiwalay na mga proyekto ay marapat na gawing integrated ang transportation network natin, mula tren, bus hanggang jeeps,” he said.
(Instead of separate projects, it would be better to integrate our transportation network, from the trains, buses, and jeeps.)
“Ang programa sa mass transport ay dapat nakaugnay sa pagsisikap na paunlarin ang mga probinsya upang mabawasan ang siksikan sa Metro Manila,” he added.
(The mass transportation program should be connected to the goal of developing the provinces to lessen the overcrowding in Metro Manila.)
Panelo said Reyes should have asked the different agencies of the government on their plans to address transportation problems before criticizing government.
“Hindi naman niya alam yun eh. Gumawa siya ng formal letter inquiring from these departments kung anong plano and then kung walang response, tsaka siya mag criticize na wala. Until such time, give the benefit of the doubt to these departments, that they have a comprehensive plan,” Panelo said.
(He doesn’t know that. He should make a formal letter inquiring from these departments what are their plans and if he doesn’t receive a response, that’s the time that he should criticize.)
Reyes earlier challenged Panelo to go on a commute challenge with him after the Duterte spokesman denied the existence of a mass transport crisis as he argued that what commuters are facing is a traffic crisis.
Panelo accepted the challenge but took his own route—riding 4 jeepneys and hitching a motorcycle ride for over 3 hours—to work last week.