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MANILA -- No legislation is needed for transportation officials to regularly take public transportation to empathize with the concerns of commuters, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Thursday.

While the department welcomed the proposal of Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo for officials of transportation-related agencies to use public transport at least once a month, it issued a statement saying that even in the absence of a bill, most officials take public transport.

“Secretary Tugade, for instance, commutes using different public transport modes to his appointments, away from any media attention or fanfare,” the statement read.

The department is "looking forward" to work with Castelo, who chairs the House committee on Metro Manila Development and House committee member on transportation, on the proposal and other similar legislations that could help in addressing transportation needs.

In an earlier interview, DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport Mark de Leon reiterated that the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program would improve the transportation sector, as he appealed to lawmakers to provide funding, through additional subsidies, for public utility vehicle drivers and operators to comply with the program.

Under the program, jeepney units would be improved with Euro 4 engines or electrically-powered engines with solar panels for roofs and equipped with closed-circuit television cameras, a GPS navigation system, an Automatic Fare Collection System, speed limiters, dashboard cameras, and Wi-Fi.

There are also various transportation projects such as the Mega Manila Subway, rehabilitation of the operations of the Metro Railway Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), extension of the Light Rail Transit Lines 1 and 2, development of regional airports, among others, to decongest traffic in Metro Manila. (PNA)

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