Even in the absence of a bill, officials of the Department of Transportation (DoTr), led by Secretary Arthur Tugade, are already taking public transport to empathize with the riding public and experience their transport woes.
This was the response of the DoTr yesterday on a House proposal requiring transportation officials to ride public transport at least once a month.
In a statement, the DoTr said it recognizes the good intent of the House committee chair on Metro Manila Development and House committee member of Transportation Winston Castelo, as it looks forward to working with the lawmaker on the proposal and other similar legislations that could help address the country’s transportation needs.
“It has always been our practice in the DoTr that for one to be able to fully satisfy the demands of our stakeholders, it is essential to empathize with them and experience it ourselves,” the statement said.
The DoTr pointed out that even in the absence of a bill, most its officials are already taking public transport.
“Secretary Tugade, for instance, commutes using different public transport modes to his appointments, away from any media attention or fanfare,” the statement said.
“This is the reason why we continue to find baskets of solutions and alternatives so that we are able to deliver, one day at a time, the marching order of President Duterte, which is to make Filipino lives comfortable,” it added.
Responsive to needs
The DoTr assured that it will not stop finding means “to know, feel and relate with the sufferings of our kababayans to make all our programs and projects responsive to their needs.
House Bill 8859 or the Government Officials Public Transportation Duty Act was filed before the House of Representatives last Monday.
Under the bill, all government officials from agencies in charge of transportation such as DoTr, Metro Manila Development Authority, Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board with the designation of director and above will be obliged to ride public transportation at least once a month.
Meanwhile, the DoTr welcomed a proposal by the House Committee on Metro Manila Development last Monday to extend the operating system of the MRT3 for at least two more hours to accommodate late passengers.
“We will study the proposal given the changes in the current MRT-3 ridership profile, as compared to when the extended hours was tested in the past,” said DoTr communications director Goddes Hope Libiran.
The MRT currently operates from 5:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. while the the Light Rail Transit runs from 4:30 a.m. until 10 p.m.
With Vernadeth de los Santos