Senator Nancy Binay asked Tuesday the officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to take the commute challenge amid the GCQ (general community quarantine) in Metro Manila as she slams the agency’s lack of clear public transport plan.
Binay said commuters were left with “very limited” modes of transportation while private vehicles roam freely around Metro Manila.
“Mabuti sila’t aircon ang mga sasakyan. Eh kung subukan kaya ng mga opisyal ng DOTr mag-commute mula sa kani-kanilang bahay papasok sa opisina nila? ” she said.
(At least their cars have aircon. Why don’t DOTr officials try to commute from their homes to their officers?)
“Dapat maramdaman nila ang hirap na pinagdadaanan ng mga commuter [they should feel the struggle of the commuters]. They won’t be able to plan well if they don’t feel and understand the people’s daily struggles,” Binay said.
“Napaka-unfair sa commuters na yung mga private vehicles walang restrictions bumyahe. Napaka-limitado ng choices nila,” she said.
(It’s unfair to commuters that private vehicles don’t have travel restrictions. They have minimal choices.)
Binay dares DOTr officials to take commute challenge
Binay further explained that DOTr knew 30 percent of Metro Manila residents would go back to work on June 1. Still, the transportation agency only provided trucks that offer free rides, causing the public to violate physical distancing rules.
She also said the limited routes for select public transport did not consider workers traveling to distant destinations.
“Di po lahat ng pupunta sa trabaho eh sa EDSA o sa Commonwealth dumadaan. Yung pagba-ban ng jeepneys sa kalsada ay unrealistic, anti-commuter at anti-worker,” Binay said.
(Not everyone who goes to work passes by EDSA or Commonwealth. The ban on jeepneys on the road is unrealistic, anti-commuter, and anti-worker.)
“Obviously, DOTr is favoring a certain segment of the mass transport sector, while ignoring and isolating the biggest public transport segment which the majority of the commuting public depend on,” she added.
“‘Di po lahat ay may kotse. Di lahat ay may motorsiklo o bisikleta. Di lahat kayang maglakad ng ilang kilometro sa gitna ng baha at ulan. Our workers and the commuting public don’t deserve this kind of treatment. For the past three months, they’ve sacrificed more than enough.”
(Not everybody has a car. Not everybody has motorcycles and bikes. Not everyone can walk for kilometers under the rain or wade in floods.)
“When you exclude the jeepneys from the equation, you also have abandoned 250,000 families–and their children are the ones who suffer the most,” Binay said.