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MRT-3 service improved under Duterte admin but still ‘not perfect’ — Poe

07:22 PM July 12, 2018

Senator Grace Poe on Thursday said the service of Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) improved under the Duterte administration although she also pointed out the challenges with the train system.

Poe made the remark when she asked in an interview with ANC if she was satisfied with the performance of the MRT.

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“I’m happy to say that at least fewer breakdowns now, not perfect. We need more coaches, we need more trains,” she said.

During the early months of the Duterte administration, the MRT frequently broke down and passengers had to be offloaded and had to walk on the train tracks.

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Dalian trains

The senator pointed out the challenges with the China-made Dalian trains bought by the government.

Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade had mentioned that 48 Dalian trains, which have been mothballed for more than two years, may finally hit the tracks this year depending on the result of an independent audit.

He said the trains worth P 3.2 billion can become usable if some technical adjustments will be made.

Poe said, “Ito na nga yung problema, balikan natin yung Dalian. We’re trying to make it fit, we have to make adjustments. Why do we have to make adjustments?”

The senator criticized the procurement of the Dalian trains that are not compatible with the existing MRT system.

“From the beginning kasi sinasabi na nga natin, bakit Dalian na naman ang pinili ninyo? Ano nanaman ang track record ng Dalian? Ikumpara mo sa Bombardier, ikumpara mo sa Sumitomo, ‘di ba? Tapos bumibili pa ng parts sa Raon,” she said.

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Poe admitted that Tugade asked her to hold her criticisms of the MRT performance as the Department of Transport plays catch up with the maintenance of the train system.

“Kasi tama nga naman, it was the last one, the last maintenance provider that didn’t provide the necessary replacement parts. Now, they’re playing catch up,” she said.   /vvp

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