Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Will a government official commute during a weekday rush hour?




One of the youngest member of the House of Representatives had this novelty of an idea for a law.

The 29 year old ,ANGAT  Tayo Party List Rep. Neil Abayon has filed House Bill 6195, which will require government officials, elected or appointed with the rank or equivalent of division chief to department secretary to ride public land transport to and from work and for official business at least once every calendar month during weekday rush hours.

"Public service improves when it is rendered with empathy and compassion. Public service requires living modestly and does not mean entitlement to perks such as business class and first-class accommodations with airlines," the lawmaker  said in a statement.
In 2013 a Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) study release, claims that the Philippines is losing PHP 2.4 billion a day due to traffic congestion that eats up time that could have been used for other productive pursuits.(photo credit to the owner)

In the bill public utility vehicles listed are that of passenger buses, commuter trains, light rail, taxis and transport network vehicle service, public utility jeepneys and passenger tricycles. For air and sea travel, government officials will be mandated to take economy class.

The bill however also call for an exemption: The President, Vice President, the Chief Justice and the Justices of the Supreme Court, however, are exempted from the proposed bill as well as officials with existing physical handicaps or serious medical condition, security threats and concerns.

Tasked to formulate the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the law are the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Presidential Security Group (PSG).

Other government officials gave their nod to the measure

Sol Aragones, who was first known to be a member of the media industry before being elected as representative of Laguna said that immersion is important for lawmakers in proposing bills.

Other government officials are warm to the idea, saying it is better for themselves to experience the rush hour during the commuting hours on weekdays.

"Why not? That's a very good proposal dito sa NCR [National Capital Region]. Well, nightmare naman talaga ang traffic dito. We have come up with some proposed solutions. Sometimes I take the bus so I can feel how comfortable is the travel," House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said.

"It's good. It's one reason why the presidential form of government is more embraced in the Filipino...," Cayetano said.

"If Congress will pass that, I don't mind doing because I've been doing that while I was in government service. Sumasakay ako sa MRT, LRT even when I was SOJ (Secretary of Justice)..." Bello said.

When asked what brought about this idea of his, "The objective [is] so we can empathize with the riding pubic. The transport sector kasi, if we go to the field, makikita talaga namin kung ano yung problemang dinadaanan ng riding public on a daily basis," Abayon said.
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