Late for work? DOTC says no such thing as MRT 'excuse letter'

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez,

Posted at Jun 23 2015 11:47 AM | Updated as of Jun 23 2015 08:28 PM

MANILA – Passengers who arrive late for work due to glitches in the Metro Rail Transit-Line 3 (MRT-3) system will not be issued “excuse letters” by government.

The Department of Transportation and Communications and the MRT-3 Office denied reports that “excuse letters” will be issued to affected passengers. Reports say such letters can supposedly be presented to their respective employers.

Officials said only incident reports will be released to the public upon request.

“At most, a copy of relevant incident reports may be released to any requesting member of the general public for whatever useful purposes this may serve, in line with the policy of transparency,” DOTC said in a statement on Tuesday.

DOTC added that glitches in the train system are “being addressed by long-term rehabilitation and improvement projects.”

These projects include the replacement of around 7,000 meters worth of rails and signaling system, as well as the rehabilitation of the system’s elevators and escalators.

DOTC also noted that the prototype for new light rail vehicles (LRVs) is on track to arrive in mid-August.

“The dynamic testing phase will start in November, which is when the prototype’s bogies will arrive,” said Transportation Sec. Jun Abaya.

“In the meantime, we will assemble the prototype and check its components ahead of the dynamic testing. The monthly delivery of three train cars should start in late January 2016,” he added.

Last week, the DOTC’s project implementation team inspected the manufacture of the 48 LRVS in Dalian, China.

The team reported that the prototype “appears to be of good and reliable quality.”

“What is important to us is that the train cars, once delivered, will be safe and reliable. So we prefer to be thorough with the manufacture, assembly, checking, and testing of the prototype,” Abaya said.