‘Libreng Sakay’: Marcos’ remarks on free ride program inspires new poem

July 18, 2022 - 3:08 PM
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Photo of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during a press briefing that was uploaded on July 7, 2022 (Facebook/PCOO)

A creative poem was born anew from a presidential speech.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr‘s response to a question about the government’s free train ride program was turned into a poem on social media.

In a briefing on July 5, Marcos was asked about what the public can expect from the transport sector during his administration.

The reporter specified whether or not the provision of fuel subsidies and the implementation “Libreng Sakay” program would continue.

In his response, Marcos talked about his plans to expand the fuel subsidy program to include tricycle drivers.

The president, however, stuttered when he was discussing the future of the free train ride initiative.

Marcos initially said the program will still run under his term.

“The Libreng Sakay… what we have done is we will continue the Libreng Sakay but what we are going… we are going to stop the Libreng Sakay in MRT-3,” he said.

Free rides to MRT-3 passengers already ended on June 30.

But Marcos also admitted he could be misstating the details.

“We will transfer the Libreng Sakay to students… Sorry, I think I’m doing this wrong,” the new chief executive said.

Marcos quickly recovered and reiterated his earlier decision to carry on providing free rides to commuters.

“Libreng Sakay continues as is. That continues. But what we are going to do is we are going to do a program for the students. Because if they come in, we will fully subsidize first their pamasahe. We’ll phase it out because we cannot afford to keep that going. But students will ride for free on LRT 2, which is going to the university belt,” he said.

The transcript of this briefing can be viewed via the official website of the Presidential Communications Operations Office.

Based on reports, Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista confirmed on July 14 that free rides are exclusive to LRT-2 for students in the coming school year.

Prior to this, Marcos last July 1 extended the free rides at EDSA Carousel until December this year and also approved free transit for students who will ride the MRT-3 and LRT-2.

Meanwhile, days after Marcos’ remarks on the Libreng Sakay program, some online users arranged a poem out of his words from the briefing.

Given the title “Libreng Sakay,” they juxtaposed this poem with the ones that writers created from the ramblings of his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte.

Social media users asked one another in jest who is the better orator between Marcos and Duterte.

Duterte’s national addresses during the COVID-19 pandemic inspired writers to arrange three poem-like structures. They are the following:

  • The Kit – It came from Duterte’s supposed answer to the lack of COVID-19 testing kits in the country.
  • The Pill – Duterte described a supposed pill that could kill the virus.
  • Ang Ano – Duterte made some incoherent and incomplete phrases about his trip with former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

Other content formed from his talk

Other Filipinos, meanwhile, aired their reactions to Marcos’ remarks through creative content.

Filipino artist Isang Tasang Kape uploaded a comic strip that showed the dismay of a viewer.

A Reddit user also shared a supposed transcript of this speech with annotations.

The free-of-charge public transport services received some mixed cheers and jeers from commuters and drivers throughout its implementation.

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