Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has chided the Duterte administration for failing to provide proper public transportation after it downgraded the alert level modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila.
De Lima, a known human rights and social justice champion, said the current transport crisis in the country reflected the administration officials’ failure of leadership.
“What in heavens were they thinking?! How can this administration not know that easing our quarantine requires public transportation?” she asked in her Dispatch from Crame No. 812.
“This public transportation debacle just as we went into the General Community Quarantine smacks of gross elitism, inexcusable lack of foresight, and ultimately a failure of leadership,” she added.
Based on media reports, the lack of options for mass transportation forced thousands of commuters returning to work to on the first days of GCQ to either walk to offices, hitch rides on the backs of trucks or other private vehicles, if not stranded along Metro Manila roads.
De Lima said the Duterte administration should realize that adequate public transportation is necessary to ensure that Filipino workers can safely report to work and go back to their homes.
“Di hamak na maraming Pilipino ang walang sariling sasakyan, walang pambayad sa taxi, at walang choice kundi magtrabaho para sa pamilya,” she said.
“Kung puwede lang na hindi sila lumabas ng bahay, gagawin nila. Pero ano ang kakainin ng kanilang pamilya kung hindi sila maghahanap-buhay? Paulit-ulit pa naman na sinasabi ng Malacañang na ititigil na ang ayuda. Hindi ba naisip ng administrasyon na kailangan nila ng maayos na transportasyon papunta sa kanilang pinagtatrabahuhan?” she added.
Instead of offering excuses, De Lima said the administration should instead provide realistic solutions to the transportation crisis and improve the daily travel of commuters.
“’Pasensya na lang muna.’ ‘Konting sakripisyo pa.’ ‘No choice.’ ‘Matira ang matibay.’ Ganun na lang ba tayo? DOTr should fix this. Yesterday,” said De Lima. (30)