Rep. Sarah Elago (Kabataan Party-list) used a hashtag and logo of popular Korean girl group TWICE in her tweet on mass testing and public transportation, which amused her followers and fans of the Korean girl group.
On June 1, Elago on Twitter wrote: “#MoreandMore: Urgent: Mass Testing, Contact Tracing, Public Transport #BalikPasada.”
— Sarah Elago (@sarahelago) June 1, 2020
The hashtag used is TWICE’s new track called “More and More” from their new album of the namesake, which is their ninth mini-album since their debut in 2015.
THE 9TH MINI ALBUM
MORE & MORE
— TWICE (@JYPETWICE) June 1, 2020
Both the music video and the album were released on June 1, the same day as the beginning of the general community quarantine in areas previously placed under modified enhanced community quarantine, including the National Capital Region.
Based on GCQ rules, all modes of mass transport are allowed to operate at limited capacity.
However, the Department of Transportation previously announced that modern jeepneys and public express vans in Metro Manila will only be allowed to ply on June 22.
Filipinos, some of whom are fans of the group, immediately noticed Elago’s use of the hashtag and were amused that she used this to raise the national concerns amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Some online users shared gifs from the music video of “More and More” to promote the group’s music while also calling out the government for mass testing.
MORE & MORE TESTING NOOOW 💯💯😂 pic.twitter.com/hu1PRtFW8H
— 𝔂𝓮𝓵𝓵𝓸𝔀 | MORE & MORE (@keopikenley) June 1, 2020
TWICE is a nine-member girl group under the music agency JYP Entertainment comprising Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung and Tzuyu.
Last year, the group held a concert in the country as part of their TWICELIGHTS World Tour.
The outcry of jeepney drivers and commuters
Meanwhile, aside from call for mass testing, Elago also touched on the outcry for public transportat operators.
On Monday, commuters resorted to walk for hours, hitchhike on some private vehicles, or board police patrol cars and trucks to get to their workplaces in the absence of jeepneys and public express vans. Both are considered the most common and cost-effective forms of public transport to the Filipino workforce,
Pictures and videos shared by news outlets and field reporters also showed the lack of enforcement of health protocols established by the government in terms of traveling.
Those who are fortunate enough to have bikes took risks to travel along highways to reach their destinations.
On the other hand, groups of jeepney drivers also reportedly staged protests in some parts of Manila to call out the government to lift the suspension of jeepney operations.
PUV drivers are among the daily wage workers who were severely affected by the health crisis and the government’s quarantine measures since last March.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) previously said that the government will provide financial assistance worth P5,000 to P8,000 to 435,619 public utility vehicle drivers in Luzon.
Piston Philippines, a nationwide transportation workers’ rights group, also launched an online petition via Change.org that urged commuters to support their opposition against the government’s priority on “modern jeepneys” over old ones.
The petition cited the LTFRB memorandum circular 2020-017 that dictates drivers to acquire special permits first and informs them that “modernized jeepneys” will be prioritized.
“Dahil dito ay nananawagan kami na pahintulutang makabiyahe ang lahat ng jeepney at PUV na may karampatang rehistro at prankisa; bigyan ng subsidyo ang mga driver upang mabawi man lamang ang mawawalang kita dulot ng kalahating bilang ng ilululan sa mga PUV; ibigay ang Social Amelioration Assistance na hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa natatanggap; at isagawa ang testing sa mga driver, konduktor at mamamayan,” the petition read.
The online petition has so far gathered more than 2,800 signatures.