1 year free MRT-3 rides for soldiers

Marje Pelayo   •   April 24, 2018   •   3838

Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3)

Soldiers are given a year of free train rides, courtesy of Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3.

This is in line with a memorandum of agreement to be signed Wednesday by the Department of Transportation (DOTr,) MRT-3 and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP.)

The project is a small gesture to acknowledge the efforts and sacrifices of the members of the military in order to maintain peace and national security.

For its part, the AFP in return will offer medical assistance and allow the use of its service ambulance in time of crisis and emergencies.

Last year, Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) inked a similar agreement with the AFP which takes effect until December 2018.  — Asher Cadapan Jr. | UNTV News & Rescue

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MRT-3 reports drop in unloading incidents in 2019

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The number of unloading incidents recorded from January to September this year in the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) has only reached 18 so far, its management reported on Monday.

According to official records of the MRT-3 control center, this is much lower when compared to 480 unloading incidents reported in the same period in 2016, which was the highest number recorded since 2012.

In a Facebook post, the MRT-3 said the significant improvement was observed after they stopped the “force deployment” of “unsafe and reliable trains” as practiced by MRT-3’s previous maintenance provider.

MAGANDANG BALITA!DAMANG-DAMA na ang lamig sa loob ng tren ng MRT-3 dahil naikabit na ang 93 bagong air-conditioning…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Saturday, 14 September 2019

“Amin din pong nais na klaruhin na ang MRT-3 ay hindi kailanman nagdedeploy ng tren na depektibo o sira. Mahalaga sa amin ang kaligtasan ng aming mga pasahero,” the agency said in a statement.

(We also wish to clarify that the MRT-3 has never deployed defective trains. The safety of our passengers is very important to us.)

“Katunayan, ipinatigil po namin ang naging kasanayan ng dating maintenance providers na ‘force deployment’ ng ‘unsafe at unreliable trains’, dahil sila noon ay nababayaran base sa numero ng tren na kanilang nadedeploy, sirain man o hindi,” it added.

(In fact, we have stopped the practice of ‘force deployment’ of ‘unsafe and unreliable trains’ by former maintenance providers as they are paid based on the number of deployed trains, regardless of whether it broke down or not.)

The MRT-3 management also said that compared to previous years, its warehouse now contains enough number of spare parts to repair broken train system components.

“Kung dati rin ay halos walang lamang spare parts ang MRT-3 warehouse, ngayon po ay nag-uumapaw ito sa dami. Ibig sabihin, sapat na ang mga spare parts na gagamitin sa pagkukumpuni ng mga bagon at sistema ng MRT-3,” it said.

(If in the past, the MRT-3 warehouse contained little to no spare parts, now, it is overflowing. It means there are enough spare parts for fixing MRT-3 coaches and system components.)

The agency also reported other improvements brought about by the ongoing comprehensive rehabilitation program, including the full operation of elevators in all MRT-3 stations and the operation of 30 of the total 46 escalators.

93 air-conditioning units have also been installed at MRT-3 coaches with 87 more units to be delivered soon.

Around 4,053 pieces of new rails to replace degraded MRT-3 mainline tracks have also been completely delivered.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) earlier announced that the processing of rail replacements for will start in November until February 2021 at the welding area in the railway’s Taft Avenue Station.

READ: MRT-3 rail replacement works to kick off in November – DOTr

The department earlier said the installation of replacement rails will only take place non-operating hours to avoid disruption in the line’s daily train service.

The DOTr expects the new rails to reduce excess vibration of trains which cause damage to its electrical and mechanical component and later lead to glitches or train breakdown.

By the end of the rehabilitation works, the department said MRT-3 running trains will be increased from 15 to 20 with speed up to 60 kilometers per hour.

The waiting time between trains is also seen to go down from the current 7.5 minutes to 3.5 minutes.

“Makakaasa po kayo na pagsapit ng July 2021, o 26 months mula nang magsimula ang rehabilitasyon noong Mayo, ganap nang mararamdaman ang mga pagbabago sa MRT-3,” the MRT-3 management said.

Viral act of kindness sparks doubts on social media

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 13, 2019

“Kindness is not lost,” ÅcdhiRr Ailnv Diaz wrote on his Facebook post.

His post went viral with 197,000 reactions and 50,000 shares after he shared a story of a man suffering from Leukemia.

In his post, Diaz said he saw a man getting wheeled in by guards inside the train. He noticed that the guy was in pain whenever the train moves.

Another passenger approached the guy.

“In a weak voice he was apologetic thinking he was causing an odd scene, or causing discomfort by his presence,” Diaz said.

Later they found out the guy has stage 3 Leukemia. He was on his way to seek help from a media company to pay for his medical examination.

Passengers from that part of the train began chipping in P100 pesos.

“Before we reached the next station he had enough money for the lab test he needed, plus food and fare. The guys at the back called for a guard for assistance so he could go back to MaDocs [Manila Doctors Hospital],” Diaz recalled.

However, some netizens are claiming the guy was a fake and was only doing it for the money.

According to some netizens, the guy’s Leukemia story was just a fabrication and is only a part of his ‘budol-budol’ scheme. One netizen recalled a similar story.

But according to Diaz, he doesn’t have the capability to further investigate on the matter. He was just sharing what he saw and experienced.

“What I believe I shared was my experience of #Bayanihan, of people coming together to help someone in need. That is all I can say about that,” Diaz said.—AAC

AFP readies for Abu Sayyaf retaliation following death of key member

Robie de Guzman   •   September 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is preparing for possible acts of reprisal from the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) following the death of one of its key members in a recent encounter with government troops in Sulu.

According to AFP Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) Spokesperson Maj. Arvin John Encinas, they are not discounting the possibility of retaliatory attacks by the ASG after the younger brother of an ASG leader was killed in a gun battle in Patikul, Sulu last Tuesday (Sept. 10).

Philippine Army’s 41st Infantry Battalion faced around 40 ASG members in a heavy firefight that broke out in Sitio Tubig Pansol in Barangay Langhub.

ASG fighters were said to have retreated after about 20 minutes of gunfight.

READ: AFP: Kin of Abu Sayyaf leader killed in Sulu

Government troops then overran the ASG camp and found a body, which military identified as Nanz Sawadjaan, brother of ASG sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.

Nanz Sawadjaan was one of ASG’s bomb experts who was allegedly involved in Jolo cathedral blast and other recent suicide bomb attacks in Sulu.

Encinas said the death of Sawadjaan is a great loss to the terrorist group.

“Yung pagka-neutralize natin dito sa kapatid ni sub-leader Sawadjaan ay isang malaking dagok sa hanay ng mga Abu Sayyaf Group considering na itong si Nanz Sawadjaan ay trained sa paggawa IED (improvised explosive device),” he said.

(The neutralization of the brother of sub-leader Sawadjaan is a great loss to the Abu Sayyaf group considering that this Nanz Sawadjaan was trained in making IEDs.)

The military said that before the demise of Sawadjaan, they received information about the ASG’s plans to launch a series of suicide bombings in Sulu, including in military detachments.

Last Sept. 8 a female suicide bomber was killed in Indanan town after she tried to attack a military checkpoint by blowing herself up. No one was injured in the blast because soldiers were able to take cover following shouts of alarm from other detachment members.

The AFP assured the readiness of their troops and urged the public to immediately report any suspicious individuals or things spotted in their areas. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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