MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senator Grace Poe on Monday asked Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya to submit within five days a progress report on committed deliverables to upgrade and rehabilitate the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), saying any further delay would be “unacceptable.”
“Our commuters have long been aggrieved, and any further delay in the accomplishment of vowed upkeep and upgrade is certainly unacceptable. We must hold accountable all those negligent in carrying out their duties,” Poe said in a statement.
Poe pointed out that during the hearing of the Senate public services subcommittee on transport on Feb. 2, Abaya presented MRT-3 rehabilitation deliverables with target dates: rail replacement, to be completed by September 2015; signaling system upgrade, September 2015; radio communications upgrade, November 2015; supply of traction motors, October 2015; consulting services, April 2015; ancillary system, April 2016; supply of OCS road-rail vehicle, May 2016; supply of grinding machine rail vehicle, May 2016; total replacement of signaling system, October 2016; conveyance facilities, January 2016; and general train overhaul, June 2017.
Poe said that Abaya also committed the completion of the full rehabilitation of the restrooms in all stations by the “end of the year or early next year.”
Meanwhile, Renato San Jose, director for operations of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), committed during the same hearing to complete the installation of elevated water tanks to enable water to reach the 13 stations “in the next three months” or by May 2015, with a P5 million budget.
Since the hearing, Poe has been asking Abaya and train officials to report on the completion of the said projects, including the maintenance of facilities particularly the elevators and escalators, and restrooms as well as the installation of elevated water tanks in the next two months, as officials vowed.
“We definitely want to know the exact level of progress and current accomplishments on every identified rehabilitation project. Pagmalasakitan naman natin ang ating matagal nang nagdurusang mga pasahero (Let’s show concern to our long-suffering passengers),” she said.
The senator also reminded the DOTC to submit a report on deductions it has made as “penalties for non-performance” by maintenance provider APT Global, which currently receives P57 million per month.
“If commuters are paying higher fares, it is only reasonable for them to expect improved service. An efficient and reliable mass transportation system helps improve workforce productivity and our economy,” Poe added. (MNS)