Erwin Colcol | GMA News | November 7, 2017
A party-list lawmaker on Tuesday challenged officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to step down if they cannot deliver on their promise to fix the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) system within three to six months.
"We challenge the leadership of DOTr after six months na hindi nila napatotohanan ang kanilang promise and commitment na maaayos ito after three to six months, kapag maulit pa ulit ang problema na ito, they should pack up," Anakpawis party-list Representative Ariel Casilao said in a press conference.
"Magre-resign dapat sila and let other competent [agencies] take over," he added.
The DOTr on Monday formally terminated Busan Universal Railways Inc.'s maintenance contract with the MRT-3, citing substandard performance.
With this development, the maintenance of the MRT-3 has effectively been transferred to the government.
In a television interview, Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez vowed that the department will improve the MRT-3's issues within three to six months.
"Ipagkatiwalaan niyo ho kami, in the next three to six months, mababago ang serbisyo natin sa loob ng MRT-3," he said.
"Between now hanggang three to six months ay dapat kami rin mismo ay bibili ng mga spare parts. Massive procurement of spare parts at magdadagdag ng mga personnel," he added.
On Tuesday, Chavez spoke to commuters waiting in line at North Avenue Station, and pronounced their long wait "very bad."
Casilao said the government should learn from its experience with BURI especially when the MRT-7, currently undergoing construction, becomes operational.
"Dapat maging isang lesson na itong nangyari sa MRT-3 at dapat hindi ito ma-apply o maulit kapag nag-operate na ang MRT-7," he said.
Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Zarate, for his part, called on the government come up with a comprehensive solution to address the issues of the MRT-3.
"Ang tinutulak natin ay isang efficient, effective and affordable mass transportation system na hahawakan ng estado," he said.
"Nananawagan kami na huwag gawing palabigasan at pagkakaperahan itong MRT na baka meron na namang naglalaway diyan na makuha itong multi-billion contract na maintenance. Kailangan magkaroon na ng komprehensibong solusyon dito sa usapin ng MRT. Kailangan may managot dito," he added.