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MRT is safe for public, DOTr tells Senate

Senator Grace Poe (inset) grilled Transportation officials on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, on the condition of the MRT3 amid ‘unprecedented’ daily breakdowns of its trains. INQUIRER FILES

Despite the “unprecedented” high number of daily technical problems experienced by the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT3), transport officials have assured the public that it is still safe to the take the MRT.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) officials gave this assurance during Monday’s plenary deliberations on the agency’s proposed budget next year.

“Safe pa ba sumakay sa MRT?” Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, asked.

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“According to the Usec (undersecretary) for rails, it’s still safe,” said Senator JV Ejercito, who was being assisted by DOTr officials while defending the agency’s budget.

“It’s still safe, so that’s the guarantee. I mean based on your assessment, it’s still safe although there are obviously a lot of glitches,” Poe said.

Poe earlier noted a 2016 Commission on Audit report which showed MRT having encountered 2,619 train removals, 63 service interruptions and 586 incidents of passengers unloading.

READ: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/910370/coa-mrt-3-inconveniences-increased-under-busan-contract

This, she said, despite the P54.5 million monthly fee being paid to the maintenance services of Busan Universal Rail, Inc. (Buri).

Poe also reminded the DOTr of its promise to pursue a review and eventual cancellation of its contract with Buri.

“You cited Buris’ poor maintenance which led to numerous, repeated and unprecedented train derailments, high number of train removals, high number of unloading incidents, high number of service interruptions almost twice a day. This is unprecedented,” she said.

She then asked the DOTr if it had plan to cancel the contract with Buri, the maintenance provider of MRT 3.

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Responding to the question, the DOTr officials through Ejercito, said: “Yes, Mr. President. It’s for termination because of non-performance and default and inconvenience…” /cbb

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