- Pres. Rodrigo Duterte declined invitations to be guest of honor in events in Metro Manila
- He says that security protocols when he travels might aggravate traffic congestion
- The new administration has made the Metro Manila traffic problem a priority
Malacañang said that President Rodrigo Duterte will be declining invitations to become guest of honor in events within Metro Manila, citing the current traffic problem in the metropolis.
Duterte, in an open letter read by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, wrote that his decision to turn down invitations from individuals and organizations was so that he would not aggravate traffic congestion due the various security protocols in place when the President of the Philippines travels around.
“While I consider it as a privilege and responsibility to be in touch with the people, I have to decline again and again due to a very simple reason: as President, my travels always include protocols and security measures which create traffic congestion and disturb the flow of everyday lives and activities,” the President wrote, as quoted by the Inquirer.
Duterte sent his apologies to organizers of such events; saying that he would be declining such invitations indefinitely until such time that the traffic problem would lessen.
“Until such time as we effectively addressed these matters, please understand that I may need to decline your warm and respectful invitations. My deepest apologies. But please bear in mind that I only have your, the people’s, and the nation’s best intentions at heart,” he added.
The new administration, through the Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, has prioritized the severe congestion in the nation’s capital as among its main priorities in its first 100 days in office.