MRT: No additional trains during ‘ber’ months

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 19, 2019   •   177

The Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) has announced there will be no additional trains that will operate for the ‘ber’ months despite the influx of passengers during holiday season.

According to the management, the three Dalian trains that already passed the test run will still not be allowed to operate.

MRT-3 Director Engr. Michael Capati said they are still finalizing talks regarding the trains.

“We are doing our best to make sure na ma-insert ang Dalian, the soonest possible time hopefully this month. I believe mayroon nang communications doon. (We are doing our best to insert the Dalian [trains], the soonest possible time hopefully this month. I believe there are already communications on the matter)” he said.

There are currently 13 to 15 trains operating everyday. There is a 7-minute interval and the trains run at 30 kilometers per hour.

The MRT management also aims for additional operating hours in the coming ‘ber’ months. Rail replacement will also be conducted from 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. to not compromise train operations.

The one-week general maintenance might also be extended next year.

“Pagdating po diyan sa pag-rehab natin ng riles ipe-phasing po namin iyan kasi hindi natin kayang isara ang buong sistema ng kung ilang buwan. (When it comes to rehabilitating the rails, we will put them in phasing because we cannot close down the whole system for several months)” Capati said.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Challenge denied: No 6-month commute challenge for Panelo

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 14, 2019

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo did not accept the challenge of a commuter group to continue to the commute challenge for six months.

In a press briefing on Monday (October 14), Panelo said there is no need to accept the challenge of Kongreso ng Mananakay because everyone experiences heavy traffic, whether you are commuting or in a private vehicle.

“Kahit hindi ka sumakay doon, mararanasan mo pa rin dahil araw-araw nakikita mo iyon hindi na kailangang tumanggap ng anong paghamon (Even if you do not commute, you can still experience [traffic] because you can see it everyday without accepting any challenges),” Panelo said.

READ: Panelo on commuting to work: It’s nothing new

Panelo also challenged to provide suggestions to solve the traffic crisis instead of criticizing the government.

“Kaya ko lang naman pinagbigyan sila para ipamukha sa kanila na hindi totoo iyong hindi namin nararanasan (The only reason I accepted their challenge was to belie their claims that we do not experience [the crisis]),” Panelo added.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Panelo: There is no transportation crisis, only traffic crisis

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 11, 2019

A jeepney, a popular and uniquely Filipino mode of mass transport, maneuvers amid heavy traffic in Makati city, south of Manila, Philippines. EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Metro Manila is experiencing a traffic crisis and not a transportation crisis.

After accomplishing the commute challenge on Friday (October 11), Panelo reiterated his claim that there is no mass transportation crisis in Metro Manila. However, he said Metro Manila is facing a traffic crisis.

READ: Panelo on commuting to work: It’s nothing new

“Mayroong traffic crisis, hindi transportation crisis. When you say transportation crisis, wala kang sinasakyan, paralyzed ang buong traffic (There is a traffic crisis, not transportation crisis. When you say transportation crisis, there would be no transportation available, the whole traffic would be paralyzed),” he said during a press briefing.

The Palace official added that everyone is experiencing heavy traffic whether you commute or not. He also said that Filipinos can adapt to difficult situations.

“Tayong mga Pilipino (We Filipinos), we’re very creative. May problema tayo, hindi tayo nagngangangawa na pababayaan natin na lamunin tayo ng problema (we have problems but we do not whine and let our problems overpower us),” according to Panelo.

Panelo also mentioned there is a need for improvement in the infrastructure of the country.

“Tama iyong iniisip ni presidente, ang problema kasi sa atin, iyong infrastructure natin, we’re 20 years behind. So that’s why iyong kaniyang Build Build Build, iyon ang solution doon (The president was right, the problem is our infrastructure, we’re 20 years behind. So that’s why the Build Build Build [program] is the solution),” he said.

Meanwhile, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Secretary-General Renato Reyes Jr. said the commute challenge aims to call attention to the situation of transportation.

“Ang punto magkaroon ng empathy, malasakit at kilalanin na malala ang problema (The point is to have empathy and acknowledge the worsening problem). It is a mass transport crisis,” Reyes said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz and Grace Casin)

Panelo on commuting to work: It’s nothing new

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 11, 2019

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo takes a selfie inside a jeepney as he commutes to work to refute allegations of traffic crisis in Metro Manila.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said nothing has changed during his commute to work in Malacañang on Friday (October 11).

In an ambush interview, Panelo said he did not feel any challenge during his commute from his home in Marikina. He left at 5:15 a.m. and was spotted in Cubao at around 8:00 a.m.

Pareho ng dati, wala namang pinagbago, (It’s the same as before, nothing has changed)” he said.

“Laking kalye ako, pinagkalakihan ko ang jeep, ang bus, tricycle (I grew up in the streets. I grew up riding jeepney, buses, and tricycle) so there’s nothing new,” Panelo added.

The Presidential Spokesperson rode four jeepneys and hitched a motorcycle ride. He arrived at Malacañang at 8:45 a.m., almost four hours of travel time.

According to Panelo, he accepted the challenge to show that people in the government can still do what the public can do.

Kaya ko lang tinanggap iyong hamon nila, kasi sila parang pinapakita nila na kaming nasa pwesto ngayon hindi namin pwedeng gawin ang ginagawa ng ordinaryong tao, galing nga kami doon (I accepted the challenge because they look at people in the government cannot do what ordinary people do, but we have been there),” he said.

He again maintained there is no transport crisis in Metro Manila.

Kung may problema, may solusyon (If there’s a problem, there is a solution). Otherwise, that’s not a problem,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)

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