Tetch Torres-Tupas | INQUIRER.net | September 15, 2016

The Metro Rail Transit Corporation of MRT Line 3 (MRT-3) on Wednesday warned that poor maintenance continues to pose a threat to the lives of the riding public.

"The reports of cracks in the wheels of the MRT are alarming and a serious threat to the lives of commuters," MRT Corp. director Rafael Perez de Tagle said in a statement.

He said the poor maintenance was the effect after Sumitomo Corporation was replaced by other maintenance operators and overloading of trains to almost twice its original capacity has caused extreme stress on the rail system.

Earlier reports mentioned that long metal cracks were detected in all four pairs of bogey wheel frames in Car No. 04 while Car No. 48, Car No. 11 and Car No. 64 were likewise also damaged.

"The possibility of derailment has not been addressed," de Tagle said adding that there were misinformation on the issue.

With proper maintenance, de Tagle said the trains could run at 60 kph and 20 sets of trains can run during peak hours contrary to claims of the current maintenance operator that the MRT could not meet the 60 kph speed during peak hours because the MRT was allegedly designed for street car types and not for light rail vehicles.

"When Sumitomo was maintaining the MRT, it ran at 60 kph and 20 sets of trains were operated at the peak hour in the morning and in the afternoon. That is the speed of the train with proper maintenance and it was so for 12 years," de Tagle said.

"The reason why the trains are not running at the required speed is because of poor maintenance since 2012 that damaged and continue to damage the trains," he added.

He also added that MRT General Manager Roman Buenafe should allow inspection of the trains by the private owners.

"Why is he not allowing an inspection of the trains by the private owners. What are they hiding," he asked.