MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said on Friday, March 28, that it expects the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the management of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT 3) to act on the complaint of thousands of Filipinos enduring daily hardships on the commuter train.
“Our officials in the DOTC have been also hearing about these complaints from ordinary citizens, as well as from those of us in government. So hopefully, they will not be stoic about these complaints,” Presidential Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a news briefing, responding to questions.
When asked, Valte said that President Benigno Aquino III is aware of the problem.
“Siyempre, alam ho ng Pangulo ‘yan. Hindi naman po bulag, bingi, ang Pangulo pagdating sa mga bagay na ‘yan. Kaya nga po periodically, the President also checks in with the departments, especially kapag meron pong mga proyekto na kinakailangan para mapaganda po ‘yung serbisyo ng pamahalaan para sa ating mga kababayan,” she said.
(Of course, the President knows that. He is not blind and deaf when it comes to those matters. That is why periodically, the President also checks in with the departments, especially if there are needed projects to improve government service to our people.)
She said she has to check whether the President has discussed the problem with Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.
Asked when the public can expect an efficient train system, Valte said, “Hopefully, they’re [DOTC and MRT 3 management] trying to put some measures, some other measures in place to make the daily commute a little more bearable.”
Valte also said that the DOTC has a timeline to resolve MRT 3 problems but buying new trains cannot be done in haste since it involves procurement, which has to go through a legal process.
“We don’t buy trains off the rack. That is one of the limitations when it comes to a quick access to the trains,” she said.
The MRT 3 has been hounded by problems, more so this week when it went on temporary “provisional operation” after it suffered a glitch in its communications system.
On Thursday, one of its coach drivers made an abrupt stop, causing minor injuries on at least 8 passengers. (READ: Driver lapse causes MRT 3 accident)
The delay in the deployment of trains has caused daily kilometric lines at the MRT 3 stations, especially at its primary station at North Avenue in Quezon City. – Rappler.com