Circuses and publicity stunts won’t solve the Philippines’ public transport crisis

Government officials like Salvador Panelo, egged on by Opposition “activists” and “influencers”, are stepping up to “challenges” to personally experience taking public transport. Quite quaint — except that it trivialises the plight of millions of real Filipino commuters. For most ordinary Filipinos, taking public transport is a daily reality. While these latest circuses make for amusing reality TV, it is unlikely that the average Filipino commuter will be amused for long.

For one thing, Panelo is not even in a position to deliver real solutions to this crisis. He merely panders to the bloodlust of a a community of Opposition partisans who are all but frustrated by their own failure to properly acquire power — via legitimate elections. This is all just a distraction that goes nowhere towards an honest effort to deliver results to ordinary Filipinos. Both Panelo and the Opposition partisans and “activists” who heckle him are being dishonest in their intent.

Public transport is a public administration discipline with a lot of science and engineering that underlies it. It cannot be solved by a bunch of virtue signalling bozos out for a bit of social media mileage. Indeed this and another “trending” circus — that Celine Pialago “fake news” imbroglio involving “satire” outlet Barurot News — highlight the intellectual bankruptcy of the public “debate” around public transport. None of these are headed towards any result that is actually useful to the Filipino commuter. They only aim to, at worst, aggrandise the egos involved or, at best, serve partisan agendas.

To be fair, I did challenge politicians to take public transport some time back in my 2014 article “How can Metro Manila ever improve if Filipino politicians do not take public transport?”.

Any baboon can make like a traffic cop or a palengkero for the 15 minutes it takes to produce a campaign video. But if Filipino politicians want to demonstrate how serious they are about improving the lot of ordinary Filipinos who, as part of their day-to-day lives, suffer the results of decades of government mismanagement, they should show Filipinos that they can take personal accountability for the idiocy of the government they want to be officers of.

What better way to demonstrate that resolve to fix Metro Manila and, by extension, the rest of the country than by living like real Filipinos for a duration that actually hurts? Indeed, a fat politician squeezing himself into an MRT or a jeepney will hurt — perhaps for the two years they will “sacrifice” to deserve the Filipino vote. Nonetheless, that “sacrifice” is really none such from the perspective of ordinary Filipinos who put up with the appalling conditions Metro Manila subjects them to everyday 365 days a year for much of their entire lives.

The difference with this challenge is that its intent is two fold: (1) propose a relevant criterion to measure a politician’s resolve and personal conviction in the lead up to an election and (2) provide politicians who are able to make a long-term commitment to the challenge with relevant experience to guide their policies and legislation once in office.

Perhaps if challenges like these are directed towards such constructive ends rather than used as blunt tools by brain-dead “activists” and social media mavens to demonise personal enemies, then we will have afforded ourselves some assurance that we had grown up a bit in our practice of “democracy”. Sadly, Filipinos have a long way to go in that regard. Rather than step up to challenges that serve the national interest, the current crop of Yellowtard-led “opposition” movements do nothing more than make themselves the wellsprings of national stupidity.

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12 Comments on “Circuses and publicity stunts won’t solve the Philippines’ public transport crisis”

      1. Near or far people can still walk to go to work, maybe halfway there, or a fourth of a distance to work, or maybe if lucky enough a bixi station right near by where you get off, it depends on how one will plan his/her commute. Although people can still do it, it’s not really practical to walk from Quezon City to Makati to go to work, isn’t it? Unless public officials will be exempted from this thought of walking.

        1. exactly. you admit that it is impractical. now why would you demand anyone to do something that you consider impractical then applaud them?

          public officials like Panela can also be targeted by NPA and other criminal organizations just from his position in the government if they just walk and expose themselves too much in public sphere.

          you, on the other hand……

        2. “you, on the other hand……”

          Mr.Tobias,
          The idea is, Leaders must show examples or be a model. This is not a demand, it is a responsibility of every leader who accept the job, they are not there to be treated as VIPs, at least that’s what my thought is.

          I’m just suggesting something, and you already think it’s a demand?

        3. You really are a slow one, aren’t you.

          You say this..

          I’m just suggesting something, and you already think it’s a demand?

          after saying this?

          Leaders must show examples or be a model.

          You need to stop “suggesting” or “preaching” to anyone UNTIL you grok the flaw in your reasoning when it comes to what “LEADERS” “MUST” do.

          First is to GROK the fact that Panela is NOT a leader to begin with.

  1. If our Filipino people wake up early (let’s say 3 or 4am) to get to work & in spite of waking at that time he’s still came late arriving at his office due to lack of public transportation or our public transportation is already been obsolete & prone to accidents just like in the case of our jeepney.

    But when you’ll take a look at Japan where just like our Filipino office workers who wake up at 3 or 4 AM to get to their office but the thing is unlike the Filipino side, the Japanese office workers get to their office in an hour or two on advance. And it gets better, they work hard & they do less complains unlike the Filipino sides just like this video that I’ll show it you: https://youtu.be/9Y-YJEtxHeo

    And if you’d already watched that video, you’ll notice that a Japanese worker who’d wore a business/Americana suit & he rode a bike instead of driving a car or taking a bus, train or taxi! Now only 1% of the Filipino office workers could do that & the rest they’ll still depends on driving a car or taking a bus, jeepney, LRT, MRT & tricycle. But why the Filipino people doesn’t want to ride an alternative vehicle like bicycle or do a skateboarding to get to their office earlier, that I don’t know. Probably they’re lazy to do that unlike the Japanese counterpart.

    Juan Tamad is now entering the chat!!!

    1. Jeepneys are health hazard they emit deadly fumes when inhaled affect directly the lungs, how many cases of lung disease, asthma, and cancer the country have, too many and some may never be reported.

      “But why the Filipino people doesn’t want to ride an alternative vehicle like bicycle or do a skateboarding to get to their office earlier,” and students too?

      Maybe because, it’s not “classy” enough? “chi chi” mentality?

      1. @sarda Nah, may ilang mga Pinoy hindi advance mag-isip as what the GRP author/blogger ChinoF said that we still have this so-called Filipino Primitivism [or we should also called this one as CRAB MENTALITY]. Filipinos don’t have enough brains & diskarte to solve his/her problems like this traffic situation in our country unlike in the country of Netherlands where many of the Dutch citizens rode a bike to go anywhere they want as an alternative way of transportation & ease traffic congestion in their country since Netherlands is very small (as small as Cavite province, IMO) & they have limited roads & lands to drove their cars: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/netherlands-cycling/index.html

        Kung baga mas-advance mag-isip ang mga Dutch o kaya mga Hapones kaysa tayo mga Pilipino & no wonder why our country is still undeveloped!!!

        1. Of course not, we’re not like the industrious Japanese or the resourceful Dutch.

          We’re unworthy Filipinos, like you and me. We love grand shows in place of serious action, so we deserve the doo-doo that we have to clean up after.

  2. If there is a problem in our country, that needed solutions; our politicians don’t try to solve the problem. They do “political zarzuelas” to entertain the public. They are not only stupid…they are insane !

    All they do is: to phase out the jeepney as a mode of transport. The jeepney is obsolete; it is gas guzzling; it is one of the causes of the of Metro Manila traffic problems. The jeepney drivers, don’t follow traffic rules and regulations. Their jeepneys are not well maintained…and they cause many accidents on the roads and highways, and cause tie ups in traffics… Most Traffic policemen and Traffic enforcers, accept and take bribes, when they serve traffic violation tickets, to jeepney drivers…so these jeepney drivers feel “entitled”; since they can just violate any traffic rules and regulations.

    Light Rail Metro System, will solve the traffic problems of Metro Manila. Decongesting the city is also one of the solutions. Metro Manila is full of squatters, and is over populated. People , who are living in poverty in Metro Manila, should return to their own provinces, instead of living in deplorable conditions in Metro Manila.

    So, mga idiots, including Panelo…start solving the Traffic problems …do the “political zarzuela, after you solve the traffic problems !

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