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Palace snipes at traffic critics

The President’s spokesman on Monday urged critics to send proposals to solve the traffic crisis in Metro Manila instead of nitpicking on the Duterte administration.

At the same time, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo rejected a lawmaker’s proposal to require public officials to take public transportation on Mondays or suggestions that he commute not just once, but for another six months.

“If the purpose is for officials to experience it, as I said, that’s no longer needed,” he said in a press briefing.

“Just give proposals to help the government. That is the solution,” he added.

Earlier, Iligan City Rep. Frederick Siao said he would file a bill mandating elected officials, Cabinet members, and division chiefs to take tricycles, jeepneys, buses and trains on Mondays so that they would be “reminded of the suffering of the masses.”

Panelo drew the ire of several groups after he denied the existence of a transportation crisis, despite the breakdown of major train systems.

READ: What transport crisis? All I see is traffic—Panelo

In a bid to silence his critics, Panelo on Friday accepted their challenge to take public transportation to his office, traveling 3.5 hours by jeepney and motorcycle.

READ: Panelo accepts dare to ride on PUV, take LRT

But this didn’t satisfy his critics, who said he should do that for another six months.

Vice President Leni Robredo also slammed him for playing down the traffic problem and urged the Palace to admit that there is a transport crisis.

“Enough with the criticism. What you should do, those who like to challenge is to think of ways to help the government, good proposals,” Panelo said.

Earlier, Panelo also drew flak by saying that Filipinos should wake up early to arrive at their destinations on time.

In related developments:

* Laguna Rep. Sol Aragones filed a resolution calling for a suspension of the collection of toll on the South Luzon Expressway amid hours-long traffic snarls caused by construction activities there.

* The Light Rail Transit Authority said full operations of the LRT Line 2 would be restored in two to three months after a fire damaged power rectifiers between Anonas and Katipunan stations.

READ: Mass transport crisis? 3 railways reset by woes

READ: LRT lacks failsafe system, exec says

Topics: traffic crisis , Salvador Panelo , Frederick Siao , public transportation
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