Senator Bam Aquino urged concerned government and private entities to work together to reduce the waiting time for thousands of commuters to ride the MRT-3 from 40 minutes to 10 minutes.
Aquino made this call after he was informed that the waiting time for passengers before they could alight the trains will go down by 75 percent if the proposed rehabilitation plan worth P6.8 billion for the MRT-3 is fully implemented.
“Let’s work together to achieve this 10-minute waiting time. We owe it to the thousands of commuting Filipinos to make life easier for them everyday,” Aquino said after the hearing of the Senate committee on public services on the MRT-3 accident that injured more than 30 people last Aug. 13.
Aquino expressed disappointment when he was informed that the rehabilitation plan could take up to two years with all the legal wrangling between the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC), a private entity.
Aquino branded the Metro Rail Transit-3 as a failed public-private partnership (PPP).
“This is not a good example of PPP, with what happened to our MRT,” Aquino stressed.
Aquino advised DOTC officials to learn from the MRT-3 experience to avoid problems in the future.
“Can we say that we have learned from experience already and this would not happen again?” Sen. Bam asked DOTC officials, to which they replied ‘yes.’
At the same, the senator also urged the transportation officials to earmark the needed funds to rehabilitate a critical component that causes the MRT-3’s frequent malfunction at the soonest possible time.
The DOTC revealed the trains’ traction motors are the main cause of MRT breakdown as they have reached its limit of usage of 1.5 million kilometers.
However, Aquino noticed in the presentation that the P94,500,000 fund needed for replacement of traction motors is earmarked in the 2016 budget.
“If this is the main reason why our trains have stopped, how come it wasn’t in the budget last year?” Aquino asked.
Abaya said he has already requested the Department of Budget and Management to include the needed funds in the supplemental budget for 2014.
“If it’s not successful, it will be included in the 2015 budget,” Abaya guaranteed.