Panelo says aware of vexing daily commute, says LRT has 'crisis in management'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 09 2019 09:12 AM

The LRT-2 Araneta Center-Cubao station takes in passengers as the rail line resumes partial operation with fewer and slower trains, Tuesday. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo admitted Wednesday that a "crisis in effective management" is plaguing Metro Manila's Light Rail Transit system, which ferries hundreds of thousands of commuters every day. 

President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesperson and chief legal counsel earlier drew flak for denying activist Renato Reyes Jr.'s claim that a "transportation crisis" is gripping the metropolis, after all 3 of its railways bogged down last week. 

The problem of the LRT "is solvable and management is doing something about it, but unfortunately not enough," Panelo said in a statement. 

"Management should do more in providing efficient service to the public. What we have is a crisis in effective management of the LRT services," he added. 

The LRT-2 suspended its operations from Oct. 3 to 7 after a fire hit one its power transformers, forcing some 220,000 passengers to find alternative modes of transport.

Meanwhile, the LRT-1 halted trips in 2 stations Thursday due to "mechanical issues", the same day that an MRT-3 train stalled between 2 stations. 

"Just because I disagree with the leftist organization’s theory of mass transport crisis does not mean I'm unaware of the vexing daily commute," said Panelo. 

"Everybody suffers from that, that is a given but there is no mass transport paralysis hence there is no mass transport crisis," he added. 

Even a nationwide jeepney strike last Sept. 30, he noted, "failed in paralyzing the mass transport."