By Nestor Corrales | Inquirer.net | May 23, 2015
Following the series of technical glitches and accidents that hit metro’s railways systems, two lawmakers said the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) should be held liable for the trains’ deteriorating condition.
Bayan Muna Representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate on Saturday said the DOTC should not wait for a “fatal mishap” before conducting major repairs on the Metro Rail Transit (MRT 3) and the Light Railway Transit (LRT).
“The LRT accident along with the MRT derailment last year is deplorable for the simple fact that it could have been prevented with the proper maintenance of the trains. The DOTC should not wait for a fatal accident before acting,” Colmenares said in a statement.
On Friday, only seven MRT trains were operational resulting in long queues in its stations. Earlier on Saturday, two LRT trains collided at Monumento station in Caloocan City.
In August 2014, at least 38 passengers were injured when a wayward MRT train overshot the tracks at Taft Avenue station on the corner of Edsa and Taft Avenue in Pasay City.
Colmenares said the government had been allocating billions for the DOTC, which was allotted for the MRT and LRT, but the condition of the two railway systems continued to deteriorate.
“We need to see and examine all the contracts involving the MRT and LRT because it seems that we are being duped and short-changed,” he said, citing commuters’ welfare was always at risk.
Zarate said the DOTC and the operations and maintenance contractors of the MRT and LRT should be punished for failing to provide a safe ride to the thousands of commuters who take the trains.
“The DOTC and the operations and maintenance contractors of the MRT and LRT are taking the people for a very dangerous ride and they should be punished,” he said.
According to Zarate, the P11.109 billion budget provided for the MRT and LRT seems to be going to waste because of the perennial bungles of the DOTC officials and MRT-LRT management.