Robredo suggests removal of ‘wang-wang’ to teach gov’t about public’s traffic woes

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Vice President Leni Robredo suggested that government officials avoid using “wang-wang” or sirens that warn the public to make way for them on busy roads. That will effectively teach them to empathize with commuters stuck in traffic jams, she said. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 13) — Vice President Leni Robredo suggested that government officials avoid using “wang-wang” or sirens that warn the public to make way for them on busy roads. That will effectively teach them to empathize with commuters stuck in traffic jams, she said.

‘Pag palaging ganito ‘yung kalakaran ng government officials talagang paano mo mararamdaman ‘yung bigat na dinadala ng ating kababayan?” she said Sunday on her weekly radio show..

[Translation: If this is the usual practice of government officials then how will you understand the plight of the people?]

Robredo called the pracice an insult to the efforts of the public to get to their destination and said it must stop.

Sobrang insulto ‘yun, ‘yung wang-wang kasi parang sinsasabi mo ‘’yung mga lakad niyo hindi importante lakad ko lang ‘yung importante’,” she said.

[Translation: The use of sirens is insulting because you are saying ‘your plans are not important, only mine are’]

This comes amid debates among officials and the public on whether or not there is a transportation crisis in Metro Manila. Presidential Spokesperson Sal Panelo and transport authorities have denied there is such a crisis. In an attempt to prove his argument, Panelo commuted to work on Friday from Marikina City to Malacanang Palace in Manila, a trip that lasted almost four hours. He maintained there is no transportation crisis after taking up critics' dare for him to try use public vehicles.

Robredo lamented this sentiment.

‘Yun ‘yung nakakalungkot lang kapag public official yung nagsasabing walang krisis kasi kapag sinsabi mong walang krisis wala ka talagang gagawin kasi para sayo walang problema,” she said in her weekly radio show. “Kung hindi mo aaminin walang [If you won’t admit it, then there is no] sense of urgency.”

[Translation: It is disappointing that it is a government official who is saying there is no crisis because if they themselves refuse to acknowledge the crisis, then they won’t do anything to solve it because for them there is no problem.]

Robredo pointed out the administration has not yet solved traffic congestion in the country’s capital even as President Rodrigo Duterte is already halfway through his term.

She urged officials to prioritize improving the mass transport system.

Sana seryosohin ‘yung pag-aayos ng mass transport system,” Robredo urged.

[Translation: I hope they take fixing the mass transport system seriously]

According to a study of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the country loses ₱3.5 billion daily due to traffic congestion. This could inflate to ₱5.4 billion by 2035 if nothing is done to fix traffic problems.