Justice secretary rejects commute challenge

October 13, 2019
Salvador Panelo

JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday refused to do as Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo did last Friday when, accepting a dare to commute to work, he took jeepney and motorcycle rides from Marikina City to Malacañang.

“Such a challenge will only add to the commute problem. No value added,” Guevarra said.

But saying that he’s no stranger to commuting, Guevarra said that he knows how commuters feel about shortage of public utility vehicles and horrendous traffic jams.

“Sanay ako sa hirap ng daily commute to and from Bulacan. I had no first-owned car till I became a lawyer, and had no driver till I got to Malacañang. I know how hard it is out there,” Guevarra said.

“In 2015, one-way trip from NLEX (Norh Luzon Expressway) to Ortigas Center took me at least two hours. I just want to say that you need not be on the moon to know that there is a moon,” he said.

The other day a lawmaker proposed a law requiring all government officials to take public transport to work every Monday.

Iligan City Rep. Frederick Siao, chairman of the House Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulation, is pushing for the passage of “Public Servants’ Commuting via Public Transport Act” that would make it mandatory for elected officials like congressmen and ranking appointive officials like Cabinet secretaries to commute every Monday.

“Every Monday, all government vehicles used to fetch and bring home public officials, from the division chiefs to Cabinet secretaries to elected public officials, would be grounded at their respective motor pools,” the lawmaker said.