MANILA - Deplorable! This is how Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza called the state of the Metro Rail Transit system.
The lawmaker said the transportation department should have purchased new coaches years ago. The Department of Transportation and Communications recently purchased 48 new light rail vehicles (LRVs) or train coaches.
Atienza said the delayed purchase indicates poor management and foresight.
"You cannot replace trains na ora-orada. They should have done this 2-3 years ago. The moment they came in, they should have made inventory. Kaillangan natin ng bagong train. Kailangan natin ng effective maintenance para di magkaroon ng breakdown. Bakit inabot ng ganun? The question is one of management," he said in an ANC Headstart.
Atienza's criticism came after a defective MRT train crashed through a barrier and onto the street at the Pasay Taft station. The Light Rail Transit Authority said the train became uncoupled with another train that was pushing it forward.
At least 36 people were injured in the accident.
Since the accident, at least two more MRT trains have stalled and had to be pushed to another station.
Metro Rail Transit Corp. has called for a complete technical audit of the rail system.
Meanwhile, Atienza urged government to draw up a master plan to improve the mass transport system and solve traffic congestion.
"Traffic should involve a real plan. Do we need a subway system? That should be answered finally. Hanggang ngayon wala tayong plano on mass transport," he said.