Mass transport in Philippines is in crisis — BAYAN

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
Mass transport in Philippines is in crisis � BAYAN
Commuters wait for an alternative ride along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City on Monday morning due to the nationwide transport strike by some PUV drivers and operators.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has a mass transport crisis as there are too few trains to ferry passengers to work and school, BAYAN Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. said in a tweet

According to Reyes, all three of the mass transit systems in Metro Manila broke down in the span of a week. 

First, a power glitch on October 2 caused the MRT-3 to stop working resulting in some 500 passengers being offloaded. And just the next day, the LRT-2's power rectifier in between the Katipunan and Anonas stations caught fire, effectively crippling both stations along with the Santolan Station. On the same morning, operations from Monumento to Roosevelt station on the LRT-1 line were halted due to mechanical issues. 

"Hindi pa ba ito [iimbestigahan] ng Senado? Kamusta ang budget ng mga ahensya?" Reyes called. "Malungkot, pero yan ang nalilikha ng ganitong mga kundisyon sa kakulangan ng mass transport," Reyes tweeted.



According to a statement by the Light Rail Transit Authority, the resumption of partial operations from Cubao to Recto is being eyed, while the Anonas, Katipunan and Santolan stations will remain nonoperational for at least nine months

"We did our best but due to the complexity of the problem, we were not able to complete the test runs and safety checks of the telecommunication system today," LRTA administrator Reynaldo Berroya said.

"We cannot compromise the safety of everyone so we need to thoroughly check the integrity and stability of LRT 2 structures and equipment before we resume operations." 

To alleviate the loss of transport for commuters, 30 Victory buses and 20 modernized PUVs were deployed at Santolan Station. 

The average daily ridership of both LRT lines, according to a 2015 count, was a collective 760,000 passengers, while the MRT-3 serviced 463,000 passengers daily in 2017. 

In 2018, the MRT-3 sales and passenger count hit a record-low, according to a Commission on Audit report. The total count plunged from 140,152,161 riders in 2017 to just 104,275,362 in 2018.

In its proposed budget for the year 2020, the department included no allocation for the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.

The department has stated that it intends to pursue and improve its railway transportation in the coming year. 

Transport groups on September 30 took part in a nationwide transport strike, which Metropolitan Manila Development Authority spokesperson Celine Pialago called as unsuccessful. 

"Tigilan mo ko Renato Reyes. Tigilan mo kaka strike mo para pahirapan ang mga pasahero dahil hindi ka magtatagumpay," she challenged in a statement. "Kung kaya mong mag transport strike ng isang taon baka sakali magtagumpay ka. One day? Try harder."

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