MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday countered claims by a left-leaning group that Metro Manila was already experiencing a transportation crisis, but acknowledged the need to improve a recently shut down train line.
"Ano bang ibig sabihin nila ng transportation crisis? Ang nakikita ko lang traffic. May transportation naman ah, nakakasakay naman tayong lahat," Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters.
(What do they mean by a transportation crisis? I can only see traffic. There's transportation, everybody could take public transit.)
"Nakakarating pa naman ang mga dapat makarating sa kanilang dapat papuntahan. May solusyon naman dun, if you want to arrive early (at) your destination, then you go there earlier."
(We are still able to get where we are supposed to go. There's a solution, if you want to arrive early (at) your destination, then you go there earlier.)
Panelo made the remark after activist Renato Reyes Jr. said a "mass transport crisis" was plaguing commuters in Metro Manila.
Panelo, however, said reforms should be made by the Light Rail Transit Authority and suggested that the LRT might be needed to be replaced with better quality trains.
"Ang solusyon dun (The solution is) there should be improvement in the LRT, why it’s bogging down. Ibig sabihin maintenance ang ating problema (It means maintenance is our problem), we’re not maintaining it properly," he said.
"If they cannot do that then there’s something wrong with management. They should improve the services and tell us exactly what’s their problem, we can do something about it."
Authorities earlier said it would take 9 months before the LRT-2 could resume full operations as spare parts for the repair of the power rectifiers that caught fire would have to be ordered from other countries.
The LRT-2 shutdown came in the same week that Metro Manila's 2 other railways, the LRT-1 and MRT-3, experienced operational disruptions due to glitches.
To ease traffic woes, the MMDA in recent months proposed a coding scheme based on car brands and a ban on provincial buses on EDSA — with both plans scrapped after public criticism.