LIVE: House hearing on LRT2 Santolan station incident

MANILA, Philippines — House committee on transportation chairman Edgar Sarmiento called for an emergency meeting on Wednesday, October 9, to discuss solutions to the “transportation crisis” following the suspended operations of 3 Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT2) stations and the ongoing repair of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

Sarmiento hopes that the meeting will produce the "quickest, most doable, and most practical solution" to the degraded LRT2 operations and the closure of certain portions of the SLEX.

 Those expected to attend and present their proposed traffic management plans include officials of the Department of Transportation, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Light Rail Transit Authority, Metropolitcan Manila Development Authority, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Public Works and Highways, PNP-Highway Patrol Group, Light Rail Manila Corporation, and SLEX management; as well as city bus operators.

The LRT2 has been operating limited operations for 9 months, following the damage sustained by two rectifier substations in a fire on October 3.

Sarmiento said the government is obligated to provide commuters with alternative transportation, as the gap in transportation could mean “economic dislocation.”

The LRT2 has a daily average load of 200,000 passengers, all of whom are now forced to find an alternate mode of transport.

"We are talking about hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who would lose their means of mobility because of this suspension. We are now in the middle of a transportation crisis and we should really move quickly to solve this," Sarmiento said in a statement.

The committee chairman also pointed out the need for immediate solutions in light of the upcoming holiday season. – Rappler.com