Poe to DOTr: 3 years not enough to fix MRT-3?
MANILA, Philippines – “Pag hindi tumitirik, umuusok o tumutulo (If it doesn’t stall, there are fumes and leaks),” Senator Grace Poe lamented on Thursday, referring to the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) glitches, while also taking a swipe at the current Department of Transportation (DOTr) leadership.
“Hindi pa ba sapat ang tatlong taon para maisaayos ang problema (Are three years not enough to fix the MRT-3’s problems),” she asked, stressing that the government was able to build the Mactan, Cebu airport in the same span of time.
“Ganitong klaseng serbisyo ba ang patuloy na mararanasan ng mga mananakay ng MRT? (Is this the kind of service our commuters will continue experiencing?),” Poe, chairman of the Senate committee on public services, asked.
“Kapag sumasakay tayo sa MRT, nauubos ang ating oras sa pila. Tinitiis natin ang siksikan. Nakikipagsikuhan tayo sa pagsakay. Nakakawala ng dignidad kapag naglalakad tayo sa riles. May pangamba na baka hindi tayo makarating sa paroroonan (When we take the MRT-3, we lose so much time. There are so many inconveniences. It is very undignified to be made to walk along the tracks. And there is apprehension that we may not be able to make it to our destination),” Poe said.
“Hindi pa ba sapat ang tatlong taon para maisaayos ang problema?” she asked, stressing that the government was able to build the Mactan, Cebu airport in the same span of time.
With a P22-billion rehabilitation fund, the senator claimed that “one cannot blame the Filipino people, especially the train passengers, for yearning for relief from the glitches that plague MRT-3’s operations.”
“It is but just and right that we give them a ride that is safe, convenient and comfortable because the people deserve no less,” she said.
The DOTr earlier denied that the train system is deteriorating, citing the reduced number of offloading incidents int he past year.
It pointed out that, from January to June 2016, before the Duterte administration, there were 333 unloading incidents recorded at MRT 3, compared to 14 similar incidents recorded from January to June 2019.
The number of service interruptions, it added, has also gone down — from the 31 recorded from January to June 2016 to 12 recorded from January to June 2019.
The multi-billion rehabilitation work is currently underway and started with the 72 light rail vehicles (LRVs) that make up the entire MRT-3 fleet and will be undertaken by the Japanese consortium Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Corp. using the P18-billion loan from the Japanese government.
Rehabilitation of the system will also include the restoration and overhaul of the line’s power supply, overhead catenary system, signaling system, tracks, closed-circuit television camera, and public address systems, as well as its elevators and escalators. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
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