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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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Proposed BBL likely to pass before House session breaks in March

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, February 15th, 2018

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_083017_ALVAREZ

FILE PHOTO: House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez

MANILA, Philippines — The Lower House of Congress targets to pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) before its session break next month.

According to House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, he has ordered the committee in charge of the proposal to ensure that its structure is adaptable to a federal set up to avoid problems in case the government shifts to a federal form of government.

The said House committee is now conducting marathon hearing to finalize the proposed BBL at the soonest possible time.

Alvarez said, “Gusto ko aprubahan ang BBL bago mag break kami para tapos na kami doon at punta na sa ‘mabagal na kapulungan’ (slow chamber),” referring to the Senate.

(Translation: I want this BBL to be approved before our session break so we can immediately pass it and be transferred to the Senate.)

 — UNTV News & Rescue

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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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House Speaker calls on members to endorse impeachment complaint vs Ombudsman

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez called on the members of the House to endorse the impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

This, after Morales defied Malacañang’s order suspending Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang.

Prior to this, former Negros Oriental Representative Jacinto “Jing” Paras appealed to his fellow representatives to endorse his filed complaint, which is still pending at the House secretary general’s office, awaiting endorsement.

“There are two of us now who are calling on to you. I cannot do the endorsement as it may draw criticisms once again,” said Alvarez. — UNTV News & Rescue

 

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