PNoy still has confidence in Abaya

Posted at 08/17/2014 5:24 PM

MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III remains confident in the capability of Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya amid calls for his resignation on the back of recent accidents reflecting the state of the mass transport system, specifically the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3).

“Ang pangunahing inaasikaso po ng ating pamahalaan ay ‘yung pagtiyak sa kaligtasan ng libu-libong mga mamamayan na gumagamit sa MRT bilang backdoor ng ating mass transit system dito sa kalakhang Maynila," Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in an interview with radio dzRB.

"Nagsisikap po ang pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng [Department of Transportation and Communications] na gawin ang lahat para maghatid ng mainam at kapaki-pakinabang na serbisyo,” he said.

Groups, such as the Riles Laan sa Sambayanan Network (RILES), has demanded accountability amid the derailment of a train last Wednesday that left at least 36 injured. The train overshot its track after it got detached from another train that was supposed to pull the brakes.

Two days after the incident, another train stalled at the Buendia station due to technical glitches, while another one was reported on Sunday morning.

Moreover, Abaya was quoted as saying that riding the MRT is a “personal decision,” drawing more flak from the public.

Coloma, however, assured that the DOTC is doing all it can to provide better service to the riding public.

“Kung tutuusin naman po, bagama’t nitong nakaraang dalawang linggo ay nagkaroon ng dalawang magkasunod na pagtigil ng sasakyan, sa kabuuan naman po ay name-maintain pa rin ‘yung serbisyo. Bagama’t batid nating lahat na sobra-sobra ‘yung sumasakay diyan—‘yung normal na kapasidad lamang ay 350,000—kaya’t sinisikap na ma-maintain ‘yung mga bagon at ‘yung mga riles ng MRT sa kapaki-pakinabang at mainam na kalagayan para sa kaligtasan ng mga mamamayan,” Coloma said.

Around 48 new coaches are expected to arrive in the middle of next year and Coloma said the delivery can’t be fast-tracked.

“Yung pinaka-pangunahin nating layunin ay ‘yung pagtiyak sa kaligtasan. Lahat ng mga pwedeng gawin sa pamamagitan ng repair and maintenance, scheduling; ‘yon pong mga pamamaraan ng pagpila, mga pagkilos ng mga pasahero kapag nasa loob ng istasyon, ‘pag nasa loob ng bagon; pag-iibayuhin din po ‘yung public education program sa tamang pagkilos habang sila ay pasahero,” he said.