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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

For this longest running metro train maintenance squabble of MRT3 at EDSA, the DOTC Secretary Emilio Abaya was at the center of controversy which made him the most-sought after by the media and the Filipino people alike. The management and operations of MRT3 have never been good in the eyes of the riding public in the past years. Notable for this was the fare hike that made the public rumbling for his answer. He tolerated his defence with flawless lies and knowing his priorities in the future of MRT3.

In the past, 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,” he said.

Moreover, the fare-hike for three mass train system, resulted different sentiments to all sectors which angered them all. These sentiments ballooned to more disappointments from train commuters who suffered most. They’re expecting for the best services because the DOTC promised for it and also the reason of fare hike. Or, this is the reason why even if fares went up, the public still does not feel any improvement but only worse cases of incidents and where’s the money?

Before, the DOTC wanted the MRT3 buyout through the 54 billion pesos of 2015 budget, but is confused on what to do about MRT3? Or worse, purposely confusing the public for some ulterior motive we can only imagine to happen?

The P54 billion DOTC wants would not buy out the original private owners as DOTC officials are publicly claiming. That large sum of money will only redeem MRT bonds now being held by GFIs. In other words, they would just move money from one government pocket to the other, something they are already doing now with the lease payments.

Secretary of DOTC Jun Abaya had so many announcements for this buyout. He even declared the greatest confidence in completing this buyout when the 2015 budget’s released. The two biggest MRT-3 investors are Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), which have majority representation in the MRTC board, including the board chairman. He placed the value of the two banks’ exposure at $619.1 million, plus a “return” of $312 million for a total of $931.1 million. He valued “non-DBP/LBP investments” at $95.8 million. His funding request also included $143 million for taxes and $2 million for legal fees.

The Senate together with some Congressmen really stopping the MRT3 buyout of the DOTC, that they wanted MRT Holdings to have means of power over the MRT3 operations and development. The Senate is effectively aborting the planned government takeover of the breakdown-prone Metro Rail Transit (MRT3). Senators are insisting on their decision to take out the P53.9-billion appropriation in the proposed P2.606-trillion 2015 national budget for the buyout plan even if the House of Representatives would insist on retaining it.

The Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya had done the impossible while maintaining his stand for the future of MRT3-EDSA. He answered the Senate probed with flair in denying and giving reasons for his ulterior vested interests. It’s being his ways of denying the true colors of MRT3 operations and management.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), unlike other government agencies notorious for graft and corruption, has been a “best-kept secret” as a lucrative mine or milking cow for cronies of President Pnoy. Reports coming from reliable sources claim that DOTC contracts have served as intimate deals, particularly for of certain DOTC officials.

The future of metro system as a whole is gloomy according to some analysts while its rehabilitation’s vague. The DOTC Secretary’s aiming for his buyout plan until now? Or preparing for 2016 election for Liberal Party?

Another matter for DOTC’s the failed bidding that brought doubts to all Filipinos. Is it intentional to prolong the bad-services of APT-Global maintenance provider?

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