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P4.5-B fund for MRT went to DAP: Nancy

Posted at | Updated as of 09/04/14 8:26 PM

MANILA - Senator Nancy Binay blamed the Department of Transportation and Communication for allegedly surrendering P4.5 billion to the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), an amount that was supposed to fund additional coaches in the Metro Trail Transit 3 (MRT 3) system.

Binay said the information came from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) itself. The senator has asked the DBM to release documents on the DAP allocations.

"In 2012, the DOTC surrendered P4.5 billion allocated for purchasing additional cars for the MRT to the DAP. And as it seems, ito rin ang perang napunta para sa impeachment ni former Chief Justice Renato Corona. Sa ngayon, dilat at tirik ang mga mata ng mga commuters ng MRT dahil biglang naging bula ang pera na sana ay nagamit para ayusin ang serbisyo ng MRT,” she said in a statement.

Binay believes that the budget was not used due to a pending case involving the purchase of additional MRT coaches.

Nonetheless, Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya should have just asked Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to channel the P4.5 billion to improve other facilities in the MRT, she said.

“The funding should definitely not have gone to DAP. Ang nakakalungkot po, ngayon nararamdaman ng ating mga kababayan ang mga problemang dulot ng hindi pagtuloy sa improvements sa MRT. Unang-una na po yung pagsadsad ng MRT nitong nakaraang buwan. Gaano karami pang pasahero ang kailangang masaktan rito?” asked Binay.

“Napakaraming aberya po ang hinaharap ng mga pasahero ng MRT. Yung mahahabang pila bago pa man makakuha ng ticket, yung sabi nga na hindi na mala-sardinas kung ‘di mala-corned beef na ang siksikan sa loob ng tren. Tapos malalaman po natin na may nagawa na pala sana ang DOTC kung ginastos lamang nila sa MRT yung P4.5 billion,” the senator said.

News that the MRT stalled anew have been hogging headlines almost everyday. Yesterday, a video and photo made the rounds in social media showing an MRT door open while the train was running.

Binay said the funding could have covered the DOTC’s P6.8 billion wish list for its rehabilitation projects that the agency presented to the Senate Committee on Public Services.

The DOTC's wish list included procurement of cars, general overhauling of the train, and the upgrade of ancillary systems (platform edge doors, signaling system upgrade, rail steel replacement, communication system, traction motors replacement, overhead catenary system, security fence and noise barrier, consulting services, upgrade of conveyance facilities, North Avenue footbridge, weather protection cladding, public wifi, passenger information system, and passenger hand straps).

“Isipin ninyo na lamang po ang mga bagay na maaaring mapondohan ng P4.5 billion na ito. Yun pong mga sirang hand straps, pagpapagawa ng elevator at escalator, yung pag-maintain sa kalinisan ng mga banyo, pagdagdag ng ticket booths para hindi mahaba lagi ang pila, at yung iba pang mga parte ng serbisyo ng MRT na pwede sanang maayos sa tulong ng pondong ito, sana ay nagawa na, hindi yung ngayon kung kailan tayo nahaharap sa mas malaking aberya, saka lang tayo aaksyon,” Binay said.