Press Release
September 2, 2014

Nancy - MRT drivers' contractualization don't guarantee
experience in handling trains

Asks DBM to fast track regularization

Senator Nancy Binay today said that the contractual nature of the drivers of the Metro Rail Transit-Line 3 (MRT-3) does not give them enough time to gain experience in handling the trains. The lady senator also asked the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to fast track their regularization.

"Lumabas po sa hearing kahapon na contractual lamang ang mga drivers ng MRT. The contractual nature of their job does not provide them enough time and opportunity to gain experience in handling the trains," she said.

"This takes time and if they're not renewed, you waste resources in training them the first time around," Binay added.

Light Rail Authority (LRA) Administrator Honorito Chaneco admitted in the hearing that MRT train drivers are contractual plantilla employees, and the government agency renews their contracts when it ends after six months.

"Paano kung hindi marenew ang mga drivers pagkatapos ng anim na buwan? Mawawala ang mga experienced drivers at posibleng wala o may minimal na karanasan ang magiging bagong operator," Binay added.

The MRT has 90 contractual drivers, with each receiving around P20,000.00 per month including benefits. Chaneco also added that the drivers receive benefits of a regular employee except for tenure.

The two drivers involved in the derailing incident have been operating the trains for six years, Chaneco said.

Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said they are discussing the drivers' situation with the DBM.

"I am calling on DBM Sec. Abad to fast track the regularization of the train drivers, bukod sa nakakasalalay sa kanila ang buhay ng publiko, makakatulong din ito sa moral at dignidad ng mga drivers at ng mga pamilya nila," Binay said.

A Senate subcommittee has started hearing bills and resolutions pertaining to the MRT. Binay has filed Senate resolution no. 840 urging the body to conduct an inquiry intending to promote a passenger-first mentality to public transport authorities and operators.

"The increasing number of incidents of train malfunction arising from inadequate maintenance of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT)-3 is alarming, and endangers the lives of the commuting public," she earlier said.

Many passengers were injured when a defective MRT train derailed and slammed into a barrier at the Taft Avenue station a few weeks ago.

Sec. Abaya said that the MRT carries 500,000 passengers per day when it was only designed to carry 350,000 passengers.

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