By Lawrence Acgcaoili | The Philippine Star | August 19, 2014

MRT-3 mishaps probe

The congressional inquiry into incidents involving MRT-3 will start next week, with some lawmakers wanting to look into the criminal liability of the maintenance provider of the trains.

Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, chairman of the House committee on Metro Manila development, said several resolutions have been filed directing his panel to conduct the investigation.

“I’m duty bound to act on these resolutions. We cannot wait for another accident to happen. What happens if something worse happens?” he told reporters.

He said the House of Representatives should also take steps to help the government acquire new coaches and improve the maintenance of the old ones.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who is also calling for the probe, said the root cause of the accidents and stoppages at the MRT should be determined.

He also noted that those involved in the MRT operations keep pointing fingers at each other.

Meanwhile, the DOTC and the owner of the EDSA-bound light rail line MRT, the MRT Corp. agreed yesterday to ask the help of the operator of Hong Kong’s mass transit railway to perform a systems audit on the 15-year-old MRT.

Hernando Cabrera, Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) corporate secretary and spokesman for MRT-LRT matters, said the agreement was reached in a meeting between the DOTC, MRTC and LRTA officials following persistent rail service disruptions at the EDSA-bound rail line last week.

Hong Kong’s MTR is operated by the MTR Corp. Limited. The MTR of Hong Kong opened in 1979. The system is said to span 218.2 km of rail with 152 stations, including 84 railway stations and 68 light rail stops and is working efficiently.

The group from Hong Kong will arrive on Monday. – With Jess Diaz, Paolo Romero, Aie Balagtas See, Rainier Allan Ronda