Malaya | August 19, 2014

IF there is any delicadeza left among our transportation officials, they should have handed in their irrevocable resignations the day after a coach of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 derailed last August 13 and imperiled the lives of hundreds of hapless commuters.

For the sake of half a million Filipinos who place their fate daily on the grossly mismanaged and overloaded rail system, we are hoping President Aquino will not simply let them off the hook after hearing their self-serving excuses.

Without stretching the imagination, MRT-3 is quite simply a major artery that supplies the lifeblood of the nation’s economy by ferrying over half a million passengers daily most of them skilled members of the capital’s workforce.

But above all else, they are parents, spouses and children with families who are blindly relying on the government to provide a safe – never mind swift or comfortable - mode of transportation.

One does not gamble with such precious cargo. But apparently the concept of not biting the hand that provides sustenance is too complex for the handful of bureaucrats running the show over at the Department of Transportation and Communication.

Latest official figures say MRT 3 carried 171.8 million passengers in 2013. That’s more than one and a half of the entire Philippine population at present.

That number is not about to go down regardless of the glaring safety concerns, which means thousands of people will continue to take chances while hoping that they will not end up a grim statistic in the dismal record of our public mass transport system.

Contrary to a dumb remark of one official, riding the MRT-3 day in and day out is not a personal choice for the vast majority of commuters. Not when choosing another mode of transportation means the likelihood of arriving late and getting fired from the job.

If only to assure the common people that something is being done about the situation, officials who allowed the MRT 3 to decline to its present sorry state should be fired and prosecuted for criminal negligence.

Getting them to ride the line to and from work for a year would be acceptable as well. – PT.