Coloma says sorry for comment to MRT passengers

by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 11 2014 03:05 PM | Updated as of Apr 11 2014 11:05 PM

MANILA - Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma apologized for any “misimpression” created by his comment urging Metro Rail Transit (MRT) passengers to take the other means of transportation instead to avoid the inconvenience of long queues and congested rides.

Coloma said he does not need to take the challenge of a commuter group to ride the MRT, saying he understands the problem and assured commuters that government is taking the necessary steps to address their needs.

He pointed out that he has taken public transport and has supervised train operations when he served as DOTC Secretary during the administration of President Cory Aquino.

“Humihingi tayo ng paumanhin at pag-unawa dahil maaaring nagkaroon ng misimpression arising from that single answer. Dito naman po sa ating palagiang talakayan, naaalala ninyo makailang ulit na ring naitanong ito at doon namang mga nakaraang pagkakataon, parati nating pinaparating ang ating pagnanasa na mapahusay ang serbisyo sa MRT gaya na rin ng ating concern sa welfare ng ating mamamayan hinggil sa pang-araw-araw na mga suliranin kabilang na rin ang power rate hike,” Coloma told reporters.

“Sana lang maunawaan na hindi iyon ang buod ng ating posisyon dito dahil sa tinagal ng panahon na ating tinatalakay ay palagian naman nating pinapaalala ang pangangailangan na mabigyan ng epektibong solusyon ang lahat ng suliraning ito.”

Coloma mentioned long-term projects such as the MRT-7 that would stretch from Quezon City to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, and the plan to extend the LRT line up to Cavite.

For short-term solutions, Coloma said he would forward to the DOTC suggestions from commuters to allow MRT passengers to “turn around” and set performance targets for the MRT’s maintenance contractor.