Press Release
August 14, 2014


Senator Sonny Angara on Thursday filed a resolution directing the appropriate committee to investigate, in aid of legislation, the recent incident involving the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3) and to reexamine the current public and mass transport system in the country.

On Wednesday, dozens were injured after a defective MRT 3 coach, during rush hour, derailed and overshot its tracks at the EDSA-Taft Station in Pasay City.

"Such incident was actually an accident-in-waiting considering MRT 3 currently operates double its original capacity at 500,000 passengers a day when it was originally designed for only 350,000, and warnings from experts on the safety and maintenance of the MRT, particularly on 'metal fatigue' were made earlier this year," said Angara, chair of the committee on ways and means.

In his Senate Resolution No. 839, Angara identified recent malfunctions or incidents involving the MRT 3 since 2012, including a short-circuit that caused fire in one MRT coach at Kamuning Station in November 2012; a shutdown of MRT operations in October 2013; and when the MRT abruptly stopped at the Ayala station causing at least 10 commuters hurt; among others.

"The litany of incidents highlights the need to look into the operation-worthiness of the MRT to ensure the safety and welfare of riding public that bear daily long cues just to ply through the metro.

"Such re-examination should include all existing and planned inter-city mass transit systems in Metro Manila and the country in the context of establishing a comprehensive, integrated, coordinated, environment-friendly, sustainable and long-term transport network," the senator said.

Angara added that government institutional set up may also be re-examined to address the weak coordination, regulation and oversight for public transportation and mass transit policies and plans.

The lawmaker further stressed the urgent need to institute policy reforms to address the needs of the country's public and mass transport system in order to sustain the Philippines' exemplary economic performance as manifested in unprecedented GDP growth.

"An efficient mass transit system, particularly in a highly-urbanized megapolis such as the Metro Manila, is a key component and a lever for a sustained economic growth in any growing nation. We must look into this MRT 3 incident, as well as the country's rail system and transport network policy, with the view of instituting policy reforms to address the country's infrastructure needs in the next 50 years," Angara said.

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