Palace reasons why gov't officials can't take public transport

Posted at 02/18/14 7:12 PM

MANILA - Malacanang said government officials can use the public transport system, but they must also take into consideration the need to serve the public in a swift manner.

"Wala naman sigurong pumipigil sa akin o kahit sino mang government official na isagawa ang bagay na ‘yan. Kailangan lang sigurong unawain na meron din namang mga kinakailangang gampanan na tungkulin (There is nothing stopping me or any government official from taking public transport. But we must understand government officials have many duties to fulfill)," Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

On Monday, cyclists, environmentalists and doctors trooped to the Supreme Court urging it to compel the government to share at least four meters of roads for bicycle lanes and walkways.

In a petition for a writ of kalikasan and mandamus filed by the Share the Road Movement led by environment lawyer Antonio Oposa Jr., the group said the solution to traffic is a two-meter bicycle lane and another two-meter walkway in all major road networks.

The group also seeks to have government officials use the public transport system to understand the plight of commuters.

“Petitioners respectfully pray that respondents be enjoined from using their motor vehicles by at least 50% of the time and of its present fuel consumption. It is also respectfully prayed that the respondents be compelled to take public transportation for the 50% of the trips for which they are enjoined from using their government-prescribed motor vehicles,” the group said.

A similar petition was created by Dinna Dayao over at Change.org.

"Baka naman sa literal na translasyon ‘yang panukalang ‘yan, maantala din naman ‘yung paghahatid ng serbisyo publiko. Baka naman po unawain din na ‘yung nagsisilbi sa pamahalaan ay mayroon na rin pong mga sakripisyong isinasagawa (If we take the petition literally, it may diminish the quality of public service. We should understand that public servants are already making many sacrifices)," Coloma said.