Sen Nancy Binay on Tuesday challenged government transport executives to commute to work, and experience for themselves the supposed road transport guidelines they have put in place under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
Binay said that Monday’s (June 1) shift to GCQ without a clear plan for the commuting public only added to the chaos, misery and confusion.
“Ano ba talaga ang plano ng DOTr sa commuters? Three months under ECQ and still they have no clear plan in place. What happened to foresight? 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 (sa Clark City o Ortigas)? Dapat maramdaman nila ang hirap na pinagdadaanan ng mga commuter. They won’t be able to plan well if they don’t feel and understand the people’s daily struggles,” the senator pointed out.
According to Binay, clearly, government is not prepared to manage mobility requirements under a GCQ scenario since there were no adequate busses or public transportation to ferry commuters to and from work.
“Napaka-unfair sa commuters na yung mga private vehicles walang restrictions bumyahe. Napaka-limitado ng choices nila. DOTr knew that Metro Manila and the rest of the regions will soon be transitioning to the new normal. They knew that 30% of those in NCR will start going to work by June 1–tapos ang idi-deploy eh truck ng libreng sakay which compromise and breach all health protocols particularly physical distancing,” she noted.
Binay believes that chaos and travel miseries will continue to confront the commuting public under GCQ or MGCQ until no holistic and realistic public transport plan is put in place.
“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. 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.
With many jeepney routes left unserved, Binay noted that government abandoned a critical social and economic sector which has a big impact on the economy and people.
“Healing is not abandoning one of the most vulnerable sectors that move people and economy. 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,” the senator explained.
On June 8, businesses and industries that fall under Category-IV will likely be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. However, the DOTr has yet to increase the number of transport modes, and mass tranport units plying unserved routes.
“Baka inaasahan pa rin natin ang private sector na umako ng pagbyahe ng mga empleyado nila. 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. Di po sila experiment. Our workers and the commuting public don’t deserve this kind of treatment. For the past three months, they’ve sacrificed more than enough,” Binay said./Stacy Ang