VP Binay does not have any solutions to MRT-3’s problems — DOTC chief

August 4, 2015 5:20 am 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Aug. 3 (PNA) — A transport official on Monday hit back on Vice President Jejomar Binay after the latter criticized the Aquino administration’s solutions to the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) problems in what he described as his own version of a SONA (State of the Nation Address).

“Two things are clear from the Vice President’s speech: first, he (Binay) does not have any solutions at all to MRT-3’s problems; and second, he does not even understand the root of the problem, which is the onerous BLT (build-lease-transfer) contract,” said Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya in a statement.

Abaya said that Binay’s speech was only “proof” that he (Binay) could not solve a problem that he “could not understand.”

He also stressed that the Vice President has lost the ability to hope for a better situation for the public “which may be why he has given up on finding solutions and calling MRT-3 trains ‘rolling coffins.’”

“If this is how he (Binay) views these trains, it speaks volumes of how he views its riders,” the DOTC chief said.

Abaya also offered the Vice President with “brotherly advice.”

“As brotherly advice to the Vice President, we suggest that he also fully cooperate with investigations into his alleged corruption before the Senate, the House (of Representatives), and the Office of the Ombudsman — and to tell the truth,” he said.

Solutions

Enumerating solutions being done to improve MRT-3 services, Abaya noted that the DOTC has already purchased 48 new train cars, which under the BLT contract should have been done in the mid-2000s by its private owner.

He assured that the prototype for the MRT-3 will arrive this month and is expected to increase the 15 train sets currently running during peak hours.

Fifteen train sets is equivalent to 45 train cars, which number is nowhere near the seven trains the Vice President misleadingly claimed, he said.

Rehabilitation of escalators, elevators, and even toilets are also all in progress.

DOTC has also procured over 7,000 new rail tracks which will replace the worn-out rails over the coming months.

It is set to award the contract to upgrade MRT-3’s signaling system. Other improvement projects such as new radio communication devices and rail grinding machines are also being procured.

The DOTC chief said that the agency has fully cooperated, attended, and answered every investigation into alleged anomalies by the institutions established to fight corruption and to promote transparency in government. (PNA)

LGI/ANP

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