Tugade refuses challenge to take public transport

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 10) — Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade refuses to take the challenge to commute to work.

This is because, he says, he does take public transportation occasionally.

"Pag ako sumakay, wala po akong kasamang media. Sumasakay lang ako personal minsan, kasama ko ang anak ko, ang apo ko, yung staff ko," Tugade told reporters Thursday during the 118th founding anniversary of the Philippine Coast Guard.

[Translation: When I take public transportation, I don't bring the media with me. I take personal trips sometimes, with my child, my grandchild, my staff.]

He maintained that there is no transport crisis in Metro Manila, even as the recent of breakdown of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) 2 has led to Marikina citizens to complain that their commute to work could take up to seven hours.

What the Philippines has, the transport secretary said, is a mass transport problem.

"Gaya ng sinabi ko, mayroong transport problem, may transport issues. That is a given. Pero ina-address yan. Komo ba may transport problem, may transport issue, mayroon nang transport crisis? Hindi pa po dumadaan sa ganyan," Tugade said.

[Translation: Like I said, there is a transport problem, there are transport issues. That is a given. But that is being addressed. Do you mean to say that just before there's a transport problems and issues, we are in a transport crisis? We're not there yet.]

Some groups have called on Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo to take the challenge to commute to work after he denied the existence of a transportation crisis.

Unlike Tugade, Panelo accepted the challenge but refused to divulge the details on how he would go through with it.

Like Tugade, Panelo maintained that there is no mass transportation crisis because there is no "paralysis" of the mass transportation system.

READ: Panelo mum on details of how to take public transportation to work

CNN Philippines' correspondent Makoi Popioco contributed to this story.