Press Release
December 17, 2014

Poe: Don't leave to luck commuter safety

Sen. Grace Poe emphasized that the safety of thousands of commuters must not be left to "sheer luck," with the pressing need to rehabilitate the Metro Rail Transit's rail system.

"We should not rest on our luck," said Poe during the three-hour Senate public services subcommittee on transport hearing which she led. "Malinaw na 2010 pa dapat palitan ang mga riles, at talagang dapat palitan na. Sa konsyensya natin nakapasan ang lahat ng ito," the senator said.

"I don't want to scare our passengers but we must do all we can to expedite the process," Poe pushed.

Amid the urgency, Poe said the government should not get the short end of the deal. "Ayaw kong maisahan ang gobyerno sa papasukin nating negosasyon. Taxpayers' money must not go to waste," she stressed.

The senator asked transport officials to submit the status of bidding and timelines for the MRT's maintenance requirements, as well as the bidding for the rails if separate from the maintenance providers.

During the hearing, Poe presented a report card for the MRT, wherein commuters gave dismal ratings to different stations. It was based on six criteria: queue, ease of travel, elevators/escalators, airconditioning, comfort rooms, and total riding experience.

The photos of MRT facilities including the restrooms which were also presented at the hearing bared the squalid conditions of the train system in the light of numerous complaints and technical glitches hounding commuters.

"Masamang-masama ang kondisyon ng ating mga banyo, madumi, mahina ang tubig. The state of our toilets shows how we value our customers. How can we educate our passengers on hygiene and cleanliness if we can't even keep our facilities clean and well-maintained?"

Poe pressed transport officials and stakeholders at the hearing to lose no time to discuss solutions to the MRT challenges that imperil commuters' safety.

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