MANILA - Senator Nancy Binay urged the Department of Budget and Management to fast track the regularization of the drivers of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3).
“Lumabas po sa hearing kahapon na contractual lamang ang mga drivers ng MRT. The contractual nature of their job does not provide them enough time and opportunity to gain experience in handling the trains,” Binay said.
“This takes time and if they’re not renewed, you waste resources in training them the first time around,” she said.
Transport Secretary Jun Abaya confirmed that MRT drivers were just contractual workers following the recent MRT accident which injured over 30 people.
The drivers supposedly failed to properly connect a train that will push and pull the derailed train. The connection, or the coupling process, was needed after the train lost power to operate.
During the hearing at the Senate yesterday, Light Rail Authority (LRA) Administrator Honorito Chaneco said MRT train drivers are contractual plantilla employees.
He said the government agency renews their contracts when it ends after six months. The two drivers involved in the derailing incident have been operating the trains for six years, he said.
The MRT has 90 contractual drivers, with each receiving around P20,000.00 per month including benefits.
Abaya said they are now discussing the drivers’ situation with the DBM.
“I am calling on DBM Sec. Abad to fast track the regularization of the train drivers, bukod sa nakakasalalay sa kanila ang buhay ng publiko, makakatulong din ito sa moral at dignidad ng mga drivers at ng mga pamilya nila,” Binay said.