Duterte appoints new MRT-3 chief
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - March 4, 2017 - 12:28am

MANILA, Philippines - President Duterte has appointed Rodolfo Jazmines Garcia as general manager of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3.

Garcia replaced Roman Buenafe who was appointed by then president Benigno Aquino III and served for three months in a holdover capacity under the Duterte administration.

In his appointment papers sent through the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Garcia was asked to submit copies of his oath of office before the Office of the President and the Civil Service Commission.

Garcia’s appointment was made as the public waits for major reforms in MRT-3, which has been plagued with anomalies in the procurement of plastic cards and delay in the upgrade of trains and facilities.

Garcia served as director for operations of the EDSA railway system when Reynaldo Berroya was the MRT-3 chief.

The Palace also released the appointment papers of Cesar Chavez, who has been designated to replace Noel Eli Kintanar as undersecretary for railways.

At the start of the Duterte administration, Chavez was earlier appointed as MRT-3 director for operations.

A document from Malacañang dated Feb. 28 but released to the media only yesterday, showed the new appointment of Chavez as DOTr undersecretary for railways.

He has likewise served as assistant general manager for planning of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

Chavez told reporters that he met Garcia this week to discuss matters related to MRT-3.

Garcia is also set to meet with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade soon.

The government is currently implementing the MRT-3 capacity expansion project, which involves adding new light rail vehicles to the train system.

Through the capacity expansion project, the aim is to decongest the country’s busiest railway system by raising its capacity to over 800,000 passengers per day.

As of November, the MRT-3 had an average daily capacity of 500,000 passengers. – With Louella Desiderio                  

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