By Maila Ager | Philippine Daily Inquirer | March 27, 2015
Passengers of Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3), who were suffocated and forced to walk on railways Thursday night due to another technical glitch, should be compensated accordingly, Sen. Grace Poe said Friday.
At the same time, Poe asked the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to promptly submit a full report on the latest MRT3 incident.
“The unfortunate series of breakdowns were aggravated by the poor, incapable and incompetent maintenance of the MRT. This is frustrating,” she said in a statement.
“At the very least, the DOTC must implement all it can at the moment to ease the burden and guarantee the safety of the riding public,” she added.
Poe said, “The inconvenienced MRT passengers must be compensated accordingly and their fares reimbursed.”
To end passengers’ woes, the senator urged the immediate completion of the vowed overhaul of the MRT system and the re-awarding of its maintenance contract.
Poe, who led the Senate hearings on the state of public sector in the country, reminded Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya’s promise to ensure the completion of the needed upgrade and rehabilitation of the MRT.
During the February 2 hearing of the Senate public services subcommittee, Abaya presented MRT-3 rehabilitation deliverables with target dates: rail replacement, to be completed by September 2015; signaling system upgrade, September 2015; radio communications upgrade, November 2015; supply of traction motors, October 2015; consulting services, April 2015; ancillary system, April 2016; supply of OCS road-rail vehicle, May 2016; supply of grinding machine rail vehicle, May 2016; total replacement of signaling system, October 2016; conveyance facilities, January 2016; and general train overhaul, June 2017.
Poe said the DOTC should find ways to expedite the completion of deliverables “as allowed by law and as demanded by the urgency of undertaking such repairs to protect commuters.”
She also asked the DOTC to submit a report on deductions it has made as “penalties for non-performance” by maintenance provider APT Global, which currently receives P57 million per month.