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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It has been noted to all concerned leaders, media people, news companies and citizens of the Philippines, that for the past months, Secretary Emilio Abaya was very much alive with his planned strategies on how to tackled MRT3 problems and continued to move forward with his leadership for the good of the commuters. While at the same time, never had a wink of giving MRT Holdings its proposition for business unification. Even the Senate cannot twisted his firmed ways to solve this gigantic problem of the MRT3 drama that buyout was the only option.

Is he on track with his move? The Pnoy Administration’s truly involved and believed the same way as he did. Moreover, he has the support for this MRT3 endeavor all along.

The Department of Transportation and Communication’s Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya issued Department Order No 2014-014 setting the new fares for the three mass train system in Metro Manila; MRT3, LRT-1 and LRT-2. “It’s a tough decision, but it had to be made. It’s been several years since an increase was proposed. We delayed its implementation one last time until after the Christmas season. While 2015 will see increased fares, it will also see marked improvements in our LRT and MRT services. The Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya has decided to adopt a uniform distance-based fare scheme for MRT-3 as well as LRT-1 and LRT-2 pursuant to the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan. It is envisioned that this fare scheme will result in an equitable distribution of government funds currently dedicated to subsidizing the operations of the above rail lines in Metro Manila to much-needed development projects and relief operations in other parts of Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.”

DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya’s Department Order made a gigantic response from every sector of the Philippine society. It created much disappointment to some opposition leaders, train commuters, some Senators and even ordinary Filipino citizens. It has its own way of surprising concerned people while maintaining his stand about the issue. He downplayed the MTR audit team’s warning, stressing that government is addressing the issue on worn out rail tracks and scarcity of spare rails, “We’re not just sitting down on the issue of rails, we are addressing it. We have procured rails, and in fact we are doing more than what MTR is suggesting by replacing 6 kilometers of rails instead of the 1.2 kilometers they suggested.” The DOTC has allotted P81.5 million to procure 608 pieces of new 12-meter steel rails for MRT 3. Pending the awarding of the contract and the supply of the new rails, the MRT 3 is borrowing spare rails from the LRT 2 due to its depleted stocks of spare rails. Aside from the rail replacement, the government is also procuring a new maintenance contractor for the MRT 3 line. The DOTC has recently increased the approved budget for the three-year MRT 3 maintenance contract to P2.4 billion from P2.2 billion allocated during the failed first bidding. The new maintenance provider will be the one to replace worn out rails with new ones.

What could be the utmost solution for MRT3 train system; management and operations, when the DOTC Secretary himself moved to increase fares and showed that the government can handle, maintain, monitor and develop the MRT3 –EDSA?

Likewise, the government should create more trusted actions to alleviate the disappointment at present before implementing the fare increase next month. It’s more than doing things right than to do things to iron-out past mistakes.

Therefore, an added action plan and strategies to be developed and maintained by the DOTC in instilling the public trust. It’s not only the leadership, not only the MRT3, but all mass transportation of the country.


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