(Manila) A few days after Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said funny things that even satire news agencies could not dream of making up, Presidential Spokesman Junjunjun Garapata explained to reporters earlier today that officials avoid taking public modes of transportation so as not to add to the multitudes of commuters already crowding the trains and buses in the city.
“We take our own vehicles as a public service and at great expense,” Garapata told reporters during the briefing.
During the press conference, the palace spokesman presented what he called “irrefutable figures” that rationalize why public officials purposefully avoid taking public modes of transportation.
“For example, they say that 500,000 commuters take the MRT-3 everyday,” Garapata explained, “If I took the train to work then that number would be… 500,001! I would be adding to the problem!”
Using the same “formula,” Garapata extrapolated that if PCOO Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. also took the train then the number would be at 500,002.
“Of course, if the president took the train too that number would be 500,003… plus a few dozen members of the PSG,” the spokesman further stated.
Meanwhile, other public officials have also spoken out in defense of Coloma through various media claiming that they suffer through the ordeals of getting around the city as well.
“What these ‘outraged citizens’ don’t understand is that the daily commute of a public official is not easy either,” Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Undersecretary Tony Leopoldo said in an interview over at DZWW.
Leopoldo explained that public officials have to go through the same streets even though most of them do so in private vehicles.
“What’s the difference anyway?” the DOTC undersecretary said during the radio interview, “If anything, public officials have a harder time because we’re usually alone in the car… that’s lonely.”
Leopoldo also claimed that, like Coloma, he had also experienced taking public transport.
“I ride the MRT at least once every ten years to keep myself grounded,” the DOTC undersecretary said, “It keeps me humble.”
While most of the public outrage accusing officials of being detached and aloof has been expressed on the internet over the past few weeks, a few public servants have also taken to social media to rationalize their preferred means of transportation.
“Many of our SUV’s are as big as buses so that’s like taking the bus,” Cavite Representative Janine Luz Creptoso explained in a statement posted on her official page.
“Whats the big deal? Were all Filipinos. Who cares if we take our own rides while others take crowded trains? Thats their choice. Peace.” Manila councilor Eric Malabo posted on Twitter.
Photo attribution for “Palace Official: ‘We Take Private Vehicles to Lessen Number of Public Transport Commuters'”
Heavy Traffic on Edsa by Roberto Verzo under CC BY /re-sized and cropped from original