Remember when Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo controversially said that there is no mass transport crisis? Needless to say, it sparked quite the outrage over the internet.
The Spokesperson said those statements because he said that commuters are still able to get to their destinations anyway. People challenged Panelo to commute to work himself to have a taste of what the public have to go through on a daily basis.
He accepted the challenge, and commute he did.
His commute took him from his home in Concepcion, Marikina all the way to the Malacañang Palace in San Miguel, Manila. That's approximately 20 kilometers and would take about an hour to an hour and a half to cover by car, depending on traffic conditions. Without the luxury of a vehicle, Panelo would take much longer than that.
Panelo started his commute at 5:15 AM, walking from his home to the jeepney terminal in his town. It took quite some time before he was able to get on the first of four rides to his office. Almost two hours into his commute, he was still in Cubao, still a fair distance away from the Palace. By the time he got to V. Mapa, he was already late.
His last hurdle would come in the form of a tricycle. The trike he was supposed to get on would not start, costing him even more time. His savior came in the form of a motorcyclist passing by and offered to hitch him a ride. After long walks, standing in line for three jeepney rides, a broken tricycle, and a helpful passerby, Panelo arrived at the Malacañang grounds by 8:47. The total time of the commute took 3 hours and 32 minutes, more than twice the time it takes to cover it by car.
Despite the lengthy trip, Panelo said that he can stand to do this sort of commute everyday. He even said that Filipinos are resilient and creative in finding ways and solutions. He was quoted by the press saying, “Kaya lahat yan. Alam mo, tayong mga Pilipino, malikhain tayo. Tayo 'yung tipong may problema, tinatawanan lang natin. Gumagawa tayo ng paraan para tayo'y maging angkop sa sitwasyon. Pero hindi ibig sabihin eh papabayaan nalang natin 'yung ganito. (We can do this. Us Filipinos are creative. If we have a problem, we just laugh at it. We always find ways to adapt to the situation. However, it doesn't always mean that we'll let just let things the way they are”.)
So, Panelo daily commute challenge anyone?