MANILA — Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 director for Operations Renato San Jose has been appointed as the rail system’s new officer-in-charge, a transport official said on Wednesday.
In an interview with reporters, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said that the appointment would mean that Honorito Chaneco will no longer be heading the MRT-3.
To recall, Chaneco was already administrator of the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) when he was named MRT-3 officer-in-charge by the DOTC.
Chaneco’s appointment as officer-in-charge came after the then MRT-3 general manager Al Vitangcol was relieved from his post after allegedly being involved in anomalous transactions related to the MRT-3 expansion project.
Abaya said that the appointment of San Jose will allow Chaneco to concentrate on taking charge of the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRT) lines 1 and 2.
Meanwhile, San Jose will have to take on the challenge of heading the MRT-3, which has been experiencing a number of glitches since one of its coaches crashed its barrier, injuring over 30 people last August 13.
Upon investigation, it was discovered that the cause of the crash was due to human error. The MRT-3 drivers and control center personnel were said to not have followed operational and safety procedures in coupling trains.
DOTC assured that the involved train drivers and control center personnel will be sanctioned.
Since the accident, the DOTC has reduced the MRT-3 speed from 50 kph to 40 kph. It has also recommended that drivers and personnel be given a review on the train operating and safety procedures twice a year.
DOTC has also assured that if any of its coaches go through a glitch, passengers will be dropped in between stations before a disabled train is pulled or pushed.
At present, the DOTC is in the process of acquiring new rails, coaches by 2016. The MRT-3’s signaling and power systems are also set to be upgraded.
The department is also working on procurement of the privately-owned MRT-3.