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Metro Opinion

Frustrating Debate

account_balanceMetro Opinion account_circleLeigh Bellosillo chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

I find it frustrating to hear the discussions among concerned agencies on a new ruling that we, the people, have to follow under this pandemic environment.

The argument on the shortening of the distance between passengers in public transportation remains heated among medical professionals, the authorities, the leaders of the local government units (LGUs) and transport owners.

No, it’s nowhere near what ladies might call “near hair-pulling” debate, but the situation is irritating with one sector after another appearing in all broadcast and social media platform to air their grievances. It, appears, no seems to give in. Of course, medical practitioners are genuinely opposed to the reduction because it could reverse, to date, whatever gains attained to flatten the curve.

Don’t you feel the frustration? Or, maybe I expect or assume too much. I believe there’s a need for a concerted effort for authorities to extensively discuss an issue before the new idea is unveiled to the public.

All must work together to address this social responsibility. The ongoing debate may be considered a healthy exchange of views and opinions, but it does not speak well of the close coordination and the much-needed synergy, us, the taxpayers expect from our government leaders.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade told lawmakers in a committee hearing Tuesday that the shortening of the social distancing in public vehicles could mean an incremental four to five passengers in MRT. Which brings me to the question is: has there been a comparative analysis of the shortening versus opening up or adding up additional public transport?

Rather than reduction, what’s preventing authorities from adding up? Even the return of the provincial buses to the city to bring basic commodities here is still up in the air. Can this issue not be resolved among concerned heads and has to be taken up to the Chief Executive?

Intuitively, I appreciate the additional rides because it has a more positive trickle down effect on other sectors of the economy. It could provide a source of income to transport drivers who are now near penury if not down and out since the lockdown. It could, also, mean less dependence on the state for the Social Amelioration Program.

What is preventing the authorities from increasing public transport? Isn’t it better to provide employment by opening up additional routes and vehicles to the public?

I’ve a simple mind. For me, increasing the vehicles available could soften-up unemployment rate, particularly the drivers, some of whom already depend on dole-outs to support their family. It, also, makes travelling a little easy for the riding public because of the increased availability of public transport.

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