Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Abaya Blaming Train Drivers on MRT Crash

Wazzup Pilipinas!

While the Metro Rail Transit management is still examining the 
train crash last wednesday if it was a mechanical or human failure and while many asks who to put blame on DOTC Sec. Joseph Emilio Abaya concludes that blame to the two train drivers. He insists and had them booked by the Pasay City police. 

Reading between the lines that’s certainly to cover up the real culprit: careless maintenance of the railway by the contractor, Marlo dela Cruz. Many do not know but dela Cruz is a close friend to Abaya....A Liberal Party’s friend.

A train derails as it went fast crashing its barrier at the terminal's Taft station on Wednesday, August 13.

The incident injured several passengers (at least 38) and causes a post to fall over a car. The story spreads right ahead making the whole day into panic mode.

Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya's  comment on riding the MRT:  

"Riding is a personal decision. I won't go on my way to convince people to ride the MRT." irked a lot of riders. 

For many riders, this comment was like an insult.

The trains operates with no major accidents for many years under the Sumimoto maintenance. Sumimoto and Mitsubishi upgrades maintenance procedures and continues doing it.

All major accidents happened only in the last 2 years under the PHTRAMS-Vitangcol-linked maintenance groups.

MRTC warned the need to bid out the maintenance contract as early as 2 years before the change to PHTRAMS-Vitangcol while DOTC ignored the warning until 10 days before expiry of the contract. This resulted to the loophole of an emergency situation, resulting to the appointment of the PHTRAMS-Vitangcol group.

PHTRAMS has less than 5000 pesos in total capitalization but received a contract over over 45M pesos per month. 

The Metro Pacific (a unit of PLDT) has offered DOTC/government to shoulder all costs including buying new trains and maintaining them because the trains purchased by government are unsafe.

MRTC agreed that the untested and incompatible trains may cause damage to the assets of MRT3 and further cause inconvenience to the public.

In return Metro Pacific increased the public fares of MRT3 (but still cheaper than bus fares) and Metro Pacific will have both gains/losses from the train operations to make them recover their investment in the long run. But still, Government/DOTC did not respond at all.

On a note, MRT-3’s original capacity is 350,000 passengers per day, but more than 500,000 people ride every day. Imagine that?

In an ABS CBN report, a railway expert said their facilities are poorly maintained and the software technologies used to operate the trains by remote control are already obsolete.

Rene Santiago, a civil engineer, says the MRT is apparently still using the same operating system since it started in 2003. 

Contributed by Carlo Valenzona.
Carlo Valenzona is an everyday MRT rider. To avoid stress he blogs about relaxation techniques at

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