- Sec. Salvador Panelo took almost four hours to reach Malacañang during his commute challenge, Friday morning
- This was his way of fulfilling the challenge given to him by labor groups early this week
- His action received mixed feedback from commuters he was with during the commute, and from netizens tracking his journey updates
Challenge accepted, challenge accomplished.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo made his promise to take the public transportation on his way to his office in Malacañang this Friday, October 11.
Following his statement early this week saying there is no ongoing transportation cri
sis in the country, labor groups such as Anakbayan and Kilusang Mayo Uno challenged him to commute during rush hours.
He then accepted this and set it to happen this Friday.
Panelo’s journey to Malacañang which began from his home in Marikina City was tracked across social platforms wherein updates were shared by commuters similarly waiting for their transports in the streets, and riding with him in jeepneys.
Netizen Erika Pelipel posted a photo of Panelo on Twitter at 7:29AM; saying that she was riding with Panelo in a jeepney and he had no body
gu ards. She also added that Panelo mentioned that he started his commute at 5:15 a.m., and at the time of posting has not yet reached his office in Malacañang.
Another post on Twitter by a netizen named Rya Ducusin shared that she overheard Panelo as he refused a
p0lic e‘s offer for him to ride a taxi, and said he will instead take a jeep going to Sta. Mesa.
After four jeepney rides, he rode a habal-habal going to Malacañang, and finally reached his destination by 8:46 a.m.
This commute challenge done by Panelo was widely covered across news media outlets, and received mixed reactions from netizens.
Images and videos online showed how media outlets pursued interviews while he was in jeepneys, and also followed him on his habal-habal ride. With this, some commuters shared frustration as the flow of slow traffic in the area became worse.
“Is this the same jeep na kinuyog ng mga media men kaya naabala mga ibang pasahero?”
“Panelo made a fo0l of himself while wasting precious time of passengers. Enough of this spectacle. Push for a pro-people mass transport system.”
“E di nawala ang silbi ng challenge kung pati media kasama.”
Meanwhile, the negative reactions of most commuters following his comment on no transportation cri
si s in the country surfaced again on social media.
“Congrats Sec. Panelo for arriving in one piece in Malacañang after nearly 4 hours of commute! Medyo late na kayo kung government time yan. Just the same, we hope this whole experience underscored that there IS a mass transport cri
si s and that long term solutions are needed.”
“Bakit hindi niya subukan mula Monumento hanggang MRT North EDSA? Tapos mag-MRT siya. Try niya lang dapat maranasan niya ang struggles ng mga Filipino from different routes.”
“The current administration doesn’t consider “habal-habal” as a legal mode of transportation, but look at Malacañang’s official spokesperson – Panelo using an illegal service because he couldn’t handle the “non-existing” transport cri
si s. I’m not sh0cked.”