MANILA – With 48 new Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) coaches scheduled to be delivered this month, the Senate public services committee would again conduct a public hearing to get updates on the train system’s rehabilitation plan.
“Definitely the meeting should be ongoing because the rehabilitation has not been completed yet so as far as we are concerned, for as long as the service of the MRT is less than satisfactory, we are obligated to call them periodically to be able to report to the public what they’ve actually achieved,” Committee chairman Senator Grace Poe said.
“I don’t want to be hasty. But I will look into delivery dates that they had promised in our last hearing to determine how many of those that they had promised would have been delivered,” she added.
With several prototypes of the Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) coaches from the Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co. Ltd. set to arrive this month, Poe wanted to be reassured that these would be compatible with the existing train system.
“These persistent concerns on safety brought about by maintenance failures as well as on measures taken to at least address the daily inconvenience to riders will be tackled jointly,” she said.
“Hopefully, as they promised, this month the prototype train from Dalian will be delivered… We can then ask them to present an update on its compatibility with our system,” she added.
Moreover, Poe would like the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to breakdown their proposed P43.5-billion budget for 2016, especially since the MRT-3’s services in the past years remained unsatisfactory.
“We have been burned by the DOTC… They asked for a very big budget, and a week after its approval, they hiked fares. So this time, we will say on the record, what would you do with the budget that you had been requesting, when will be the delivery? Will you hike fares or not?” she said, dubious about the fare hike.