Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Senators wants probe on MRT3 crash

DOTC fact-finding team is now analyzing the cause of the mishap at the Metro Rail Transit 3 station on Taft Ave. happened last Wednesday.

The MRT3 was built on budget and on schedule And it was fully accepted by foreign experts and the Philippine government in 2000. If only the government followed.... In the past, the trains operates with no major accidents for many years under Sumimoto maintenance.

Sumimoto and Mitsubishi upgrades maintenance procedures and continues doing it. Senators wants probe, deeper probe, re-examination and more assurance.

First, Senator Sonny Angara filed a resolution that directs the appropriate committee to investigate the recent incident involving the MRT 3 and to re-assess the current public and mass transport system in the country.

Angara said in a press statement that such incident was actually an accident-in-waiting considering MRT 3 currently operates double its original capacity at 500,000 passengers a day when it was originally designed for only 350,000, and warnings from experts on the safety and maintenance of the MRT, particularly on ‘metal fatigue’ were made earlier this year.

Angara identified recent malfunctions or incidents involving the MRT 3 since 2012, including a short-circuit that caused fire in one MRT coach at Kamuning Station in November 2012, and many more.

The litany of incidents highlights the need to look into the operation-worthiness of the MRT to ensure the safety and welfare of riding public that bear daily long queues just to ply through the metro.

Re-examination should include all existing and planned inter-city mass transit systems in Metro Manila and the country in the context of establishing a comprehensive, integrated, coordinated, environment-friendly, sustainable and long-term transport network.

Second, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said he would also file a resolution, seeking a “deeper” probe on the accident. He blames it to the poor maintenance of MRT 3.

He said the Senate should look into operations of MRT 3, which he said had drawn sharp rebuke from the riding public because of the long queues during rush hours in addition to problems in computer glitches and loss of power.

He also said that in the last three years, no single bidding for maintenance of the overused units was conducted.

Now that MRT failed, Pimentel said the MRT 3 management was forced to go on a month-to-month procurement of capital spares and consumables that led to the cannibalization of some parts of the trains.

The management could not decide to whom to give the maintenance contract for three years.

Third, Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino III also wants an investigation on the MRT accident.

He says It is unfortunate that an MRT train met an accident yesterday, injuring several passengers

Let us ensure that the accident would be addressed immediately so that no more passengers would be at risk and operations would normalize soon.

The senator then called for an investigation on the accident “to gather all the important stakeholders involved to talk about the issues that are surrounding the MRT system.

Fourth, Senator Grace Poe used Wednesday’s incident to push for the passage of her bill that seeks to ensure the safety of commuters and passengers throughout the country.

The creation of a safety board, she said, has become necessary “due to high incidence of transportation-related accidents not to mention the low quality of transport service, high operation costs and inefficient transit system.

Sen. Poe cited a series of road accidents, including a bus in Benguet that fell off a ravine last June, killing 13 and injuring 7 people, and another bus that skidded off the southbound lane of the Skyway, killing at least 18 people.

To avoid a repeat of such incidents, Poe said there must be a single public entity that should address the root cause of this “disturbing trend” and manage solutions to ensure the safety of commuters.

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