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Senators appeal to DOTr to consider procurement of new coaches for MRT

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, February 8th, 2018


MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line-3 has yet again experienced another breakdown at 10, Thursday morning.

According to MRT officials, the train encountered electrical failure which forced them to unload about 800 passengers at the northbound lane of Santolan-Annapolis station.

The defective train was immediately brought to the depot and the passengers loaded onto the next train.

As of 11 am, there were only seven trains in operation with 11 minutes arrival gap at each station.

Learning about the incident, some senators believe that with the continuous problems in the MRT operation, it is high time for the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to consider buying new coaches and return the 48 unused Dalian trains to China.

“So I think siguro umpisahan ni secretary. Desisyunan na lang niya kung anong gagawin sa Dalian na yan. Kung hindi na pwedeng gamitin, di mag-order na lang tayo ng train na bagay dun sa MRT,” said Senator Nancy Binay.

(So I think it should be initiated by the [Transportation] Secretary. He should just decide on what to do with those Dalian trains. If we cannot use those anymore, we should just order trains that are compatible with MRT.)

“Hindi talaga kasya, ‘wag nang pilitin. Mag-umpisa na tayong mag-order ng mga bago at isauli natin dahil nagawa iyan ng Singapore sa Dalian, sinauli sa kanila,” said Senator Grace Poe.

(It really doesn’t fit, don’t force it anymore. We should start ordering new ones and return the [Dalian trains] because it has been done by Singapore with Dalian, they returned it.)

Poe, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Services said that the DOTr should also decide now on the issue of MRT-maintenance provider.

“Tanungin na rin natin kung totoo bang merong interes ang Sumitomo o ang Japan na mag-takeover. Anong ginagawa nila, tuloy-tuloy na ba ang pag-uusap niyan? Kasi hanggang sa ngayon hindi pa rin malinaw kung sino ang papalit sa maintenance,” said Poe.

(Let’s also ask if Sumitomo or Japan is really interested in taking over. What are they doing? Are the talks still ongoing? Because until now, it’s still unclear who will take over maintenance.)

The 48 Dalian-train coaches are worth P3.8 billion.

The Philippine government has initially paid Dalian locomotive and rolling stock corporation P800 million.

These trains, however, remain unused as they are not compatible with the current system of the MRT. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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HOR almost cites in contempt MRT-3 GM Garcia for walking out of the Congressional hearing

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018


MANILA, Philippines – The Metro Rail Transit (MRT) General Manager Rodolfo Garcia dared House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez amid the hearing of the House Committee on Transportation on  January 31, regarding MRT 3 glitches.

“I will resign if I am not sure, If you want I could resign now,” Garcia said.

Garcia raised his voice after House Speaker Alvarez questioned his ability to fix the operation of MRT.

According to Garcia, he has been focusing on the testing of 48 Dalian trains.

He said four of these can already be used for the operation.

However, Alvarez questioned Garcia’s statement.

The lawmaker argued that the Dalian trains are not compatible with the rails of MRT and are dangerous to use.

“We are looking at the Dalian trains if these can be used,” Garcia said.

“It is not possible. It is not compatible with this signaling system. Did you not know it?” Alvarez said.

Amid the heated exchange, Garcia attempted to walk-out, however, several lawmakers stopped him.

Some congressmen defended the House speaker and recommended to cite Garcia in contempt for his behavior.

“Speaker, the one who is talking, is the head of the third batch of the government. Don’t do it to us. We cannot allow you to just leave. We might even detain you here,” House Majority Leader Rep. Rodolfo Farinas said.

Garcia calmed down after talking with Fariñas.

Shortly afterwards, the MRT General Manager apologized to Alvarez.

Because of this, the lawmakers withdraw its plan to cite him in contempt.

“I was just pressured as GM, I am really contemplating going out,” said Garcia.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has once again assured to the public that it is doing all it can to fix the MRT-3.

DOTr Undersecretary for Rails Timothy John Batan said the spare parts the government ordered will arrive in February, which then will pave way for the start of the repair of some MRT trains.

He said the government continues to hold talks with the Japanese government regarding the planned take-over of the Sumitomo to the maintenance and rehabilitation of MRT.

“When the spare parts begin to arrive, we will bring up one by one the trains we could not fix before due to lack of spare parts,” said Batan.— Joan Nano| UNTV News & Rescue

 

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DOTr to study memorandum order limiting the number of operating TNVS

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_013018_TNVS Driver

 

MANILA, Philippines – The new regulation of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) continues to draw criticisms.

The regulation seeks to limit the number of transport network vehicle service (TNVS) the LTFRB will allow to operate on roads.

Based on the Memorandum Circular 2018-03, the agency will limit the number of TNVS in Metro Manila to 45,000, 500 in Cebu and 200 units in Pampanga.

The new order takes effect on February 3.

However, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade has ordered the LTFRB to review the said regulation.

Tugade explained that the agency should ensure that its implementation is reasonable on the part of both TNVS drivers and commuters.

This allays concerns of TNVS drivers who might lose their jobs should LTFRB push through with the implementation of the said order.

They insisted that they are following the policies of the LTFRB, but they call on the agency to withdraw its plan to impose a cap on the number of operating TNVS on roads.

“What if I become one of those who would lose jobs? What will happen to my family, and to my dialysis?” said TNVS driver Mang Glen.

“I represent the lady drivers who rely solely on this for livelihood and extra income,” said TNVS driver Arlyn Camorongan.

According to Brian Cu, the country head of Grab Philippines, the supply cap may result in higher fare rates, and difficulty of booking rides due to the huge number of TNVS that might be slashed.

“Passengers will have difficulty getting TNVS rides. Higher fares will become frequent due to surges, even though there is still a surge cap in place,” Cu said.

Based on the figures submitted by Uber and Grab to LTFRB, they have 125,000 units operating across the Philippines.

Overall, the number of TNVS drivers who might no longer operate would reach more than 79,000.

Meanwhile, LTFRB will begin accepting new applications for TNVS on February 5. – Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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DOTr issues public apology for series of MRT glitches in recent days

by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, January 26th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines —The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has issued a public apology for the series of glitches in the MRT operations this week.

It can be recalled that several MRT trains broke down which resulted in the offloading of passengers.

Last Wednesday, only about eight trains were operational.

“Kami po ay humihingi ng pang-unawa at dispensa at nararamdaman po namin ang kalbaryo at paghihirap ng ating mga commuter na araw-araw na nagtitiis sa mahabang pila sa MRT-3,” said the official.

(We are asking for understanding and forgiveness. We feel the suffering of commuters who endure the long queues at MRT-3 every day.)

DOTR-MRT3 Media Relations officer, Aly Narvaez said that a number of MRT coaches are no longer in good condition and should not be used for the operation.

“So, bakit maraming mga bagon ang hindi na maayos ang kundisyon? Nag-uugat ito sa poor maintenance ng dating maintenance provider ng MRT3,” he added.

(So why are there so many coaches that are in bad condition? It stems from the poor maintenance of the previous maintenance provider of MRT3.)

Narvaez also warned that the MRT might still experience glitches in the future.The agency, however, vowed that the MRT will soon provide better service once the procured spare parts arrive. — UNTV News & Rescue

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