WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MRT PATRONS?
• October 10, 2014
• Written by Jester P. Manalastas
• Published in Top Stories
WHAT will happen to the 600,000 daily commuters?
Some lawmakers posed this question to Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya following the announcement that Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 might be shut down temporarily to give way to maintenance and repair operations.
House Independent Minority leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and other lawmakers challenged Abaya to immediately present an alternative plan to serve the 600,00 commuters who everyday ride the MRT.
“There will be chaos if we can’t find alternative transport for our hundreds of thousands of MRT commuters. We don’t want a scene or state of wild uproar and confusion,” Romualdez warned.
His statement was supported by ABAKADA party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz and Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe, who also expressed concern for the commuters who rely on the MRT for their daily commute to work.
De la Cruz, a member of the Romualdez bloc, noted that the shutdown of MRT 3 is inevitable because public safety should be the priority concern of operators following their failure to maintain the service.
“Sec. Abaya has no other choice but to have an honest to goodness maintenance work done on MRT 3, but before he does that, he should make sure that the 600,000 daily commuters dependent on the system have an alternative, otherwise we will have bedlam in Metro Manila,” De la Cruz pointed out.
“We said before and we are saying it again, unless repaired, the system is an accident waiting to happen. DoTC should not tarry a minute longer to avert that from happening. It is clear that this administration has botched the job, they have done nothing,” he added.
For his part, Batocabe said “the DoTC should study first how the million daily commuters of MRT will be absorbed by other public modes of transportation.”
“It is better to ensure that these displaced commuters will be serviced by other public utilities, and if need be, provide for contingencies for other problems that might arise like heavy traffic. Otherwise, if we just shut down MRT without taking these into consideration, you will have pandemonium and chaos in the metropolis which am sure PNoy bashers will be too happy to exploit,” Batocabe stressed.
Recently, MRT operations were disrupted and thousands of passengers forced to take alternate transportation when the signaling system detected broken rails.
MRT officer-in-charge Renato San Jose, disclosed that they have only three rails left in the depot and another broken rail could halt operations.
MRT Holdings Inc. spokesman David Narvasa claimed that DoTC ignored their recommendation to rehabilitate the railway this year and scored the maintenance provider which failed to maintain the system and buy the needed spare parts.
MRTH Inc. operates MRT-3 under a build-lease-transfer contract.