By Raymund Antonio
Vice President and opposition leader Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo said on Sunday it is wrong for government officials to claim there is no mass transport crisis in Metro Manila.
Speaking in her Sunday radio show, Robredo stressed the first step to address the worsening conditions for Filipino commuters is to acknowledge the problem.
“Iyong nakakalungkot lang kapag iyong public official nagsasabi na walang krisis. Kasi kapag sinabi mo walang krisis, wala ka talagang gagawin. Kasi para sa iyo walang problema,” she said.
(It is sad if the public official claims there is no crisis. Because when you said there is no crisis, you won’t do anything. It is because for you, there is no problem.)
“Iyong pinakaunang paraan para may gawin, iyong pagtanggap na malaki iyong problema. Kung hindi mo aaminin, walang sense of urgency,” Robredo added.
(The first way is to accept that a big problem exists. If you won’t admit it, there is no sense of urgency.)
The Vice President made the remark two days after Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo took on the challenge by militant groups to take public transportation.
Panelo rode four jeepneys and took a motorcycle on Friday morning to get to work. It took him three and half hours to travel from his home in Marikina City to Malacañang.
After his long commute, Panelo still maintained his position there is no transport crisis in the country’s capital.
But Robredo refuted his claim, noting his almost four-hour commute is proof of the crisis faced by commuters.
“Mabuti si Sec Panelo once niya lang naramdaman pero mga kababayan natin araw-araw, ito ‘yung pakikibaka,” she said.
(It is good for Panelo he only experienced it once, but this is the struggle of our countrymen everyday.)
The lady official pointed out the administration has yet to solve the traffic congestion in the metropolis even as President Duterte is already more than three years into his term.
Robredo suggested that an efficient mass transport system should be prioritized by the government.
“Sana seryosohin ‘yung pag-ayos ng transport system (I hope they would take seriously fixing the mass transport system],” she said.