Rappler.com | November 23, 2017

Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez has tendered his irrevocable resignation due to the ongoing mess surrounding the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3).

Chavez is the undersecretary for railways at the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

"I hope the President understands that in the light of recent events involving the MRT3 System, simple sense of delicadeza which I adhered to throughout my professional life gives me no choice but to resign," Chavez said in his resignation letter dated Thursday, November 23, a copy of which was obtained by Rappler.

His resignation was effective immediately.

Chavez also said that he hopes his resignation would pave the way for the appointment of a person "better qualified to perform the duties and responsibilities" of the job.

'Time to evaluate DOTr leadership'

Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, said while she respects Chavez for resigning because of the MRT's continued problems and admired his sense of propriety, she expressed "doubt that that is the only reason that prompted him to resign."

"He seemed to be one of the DOTr officials who was determined to fully address all the issues plaguing the MRT. I recall he was instrumental in unearthing the persons involved in anomalies that caused these issues," Poe added.

The senator, who led Senate hearings on MRT-related issues, said it is "time to evaluate the actions and the leadership of the DOTr as a whole in connection with how issues hounding the MRT have been addressed."

"These issues should be properly and expeditiously resolved despite Usec Chavez's resignation and especially considering the commuting horrors our people have to go through everyday," she said.

Once the pride of Metro Manila's transportation system, the MRT3 is now one of its sore points, suffering from overcrowding, poor maintenance, and a messy management structure.

In recent months, the 18-year-old train system has been recording near-daily breakdowns.

The latest incidents involving the troubled system include a train decoupling incident on November 16, and a woman suffering a severed arm after she fell into the tracks and was run over by a train on November 14.