New measure to require public execs to commute

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By Divina M. Suson, Correspondent
October 14, 2019

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ILIGAN City--A lawmaker from the lone district of this city is proposing a new measure requiring public officials to commute every Monday.

Rep Frederick Siao said he will propose that all elected and government officials to commute every Monday to reduce traffic congestion and vehicle volume in Metro Manila.

This after Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo accepted the "commute challenge" on Friday enduring an almost four hour commute from Marikina to Malacañang.

"We appreciate the effort and good example of Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo when he endured his 3 1/2 hour commute from Marikina to Malacanang. His gesture can help show to the public that the government knows the situation on the ground and that Malacanang is not an isolated seat of government," said Siao, chairman of the House committee on civil service and professional regulation.

Siao clarified that the proposal is "initially every Monday" for all government vehicles used to fetch and bring home public officials, from the division chiefs to cabinet secretaries to elected officials, would be grounded at their respective motor pools.

"That would already be thousands of government vehicles off the streets, enough to significantly decongest traffic. Those ranking civil servants should commute using any of the available options: tricycles, jeepneys, buses, FX/UVs, light rail, PNR trains and TNVS units. Kung gustong magbisikleta, pwede rin. Tuwing Monday lang naman," Siao said.

He said he was inspired by the idea of former AANGAT TAYO party-list representative Neil Abayon's proposal during the 17th Congress for the government officials commuting atleast once a month.

"But my improvement on that idea is these officials should commute at least every Monday so they will be reminded weekly of the suffering the masses endure on a consistent basis," he added.

The concept of the House Bill, which will be entitled "Public Servants' Commuting via Public Transport Act", can be given a trial run all over Metro Manila, and can be replicated in other highly urbanized areas of the country where heavy traffic is also a daily torment, if successful.

“Kapag naisabatas po ito, makakaasa po ang publiko na mas mamadaliin naming mga government officials na solusyunan ang problema sa transportasyon,” Siao said.

"I note that Secretary Panelo had to ride three different jeepneys to get from Marikina in the east to Malacanang in the west. LTFRB (Land Transportation and Franchise Regulatory Board) may have to take a close look at the sufficiency of PUVs on that route, especially now that the LRT2 is not in full operation because of a recent fire," he added.

Siao said, "there may also be a need for shorter North to South bus routes via EDSA because by the time the buses reach Makati, they are jampacked. Same with the bus and PUJ route from Fairview-Novaliches to Manila. More PUVs may be needed. Maybe a midpoint turnaround zone can be identified for the shorter bus routes."


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