MANILA (UPDATED) - Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Thursday sought prayers and trust from the public as the government took over the maintenance of the MRT-3 from its contractor.
The Department of Transportation terminated Monday its maintenance contract with Busan Universal Rail (BURI), which has been blamed for frequent glitches in the capital's main railway.
"Tulungan n'yo kami, bigyan n'yo kami ng tiwala, ambunan ng dasal, sapagkat ang problema sa MRT malawak at malalim," Tugade told the public.
"Huwag tayo umasa ng milagro pero gagawin natin ang ating makakaya."
Tugade said technical experts from other rail systems are helping DOTr maintain MRT trains, together with some consultants he did not disclose.
The government, he said, is open to employing "rank and file" employees of BURI.
"Siguro yung mga rank and file, pero ang managament, tinerminate ko na nga gagamitin ko pa ulit," he said.
The MRT, which runs the length of EDSA from Quezon City to Pasay, ferries about half a million commuters daily.
NLEX HARBOR LINK
Tugade and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar also inspected Thursday an extension of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) to Caloocan City, which is expected to alleviate Metro Manila traffic.
The P10.5 billion NLEX-Harbor Link will provide access to the north expressway without passing through EDSA or the Balintawak toll plaza, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways.
A big-ticket project in the "Build Build Build" infrastructure plan of the Duterte administration, the highway is set to be operational by March 2018, said Villar.
The DPWH has settled 92 percent of the right of way issues plaguing the project and are now working on the transfer of affected residents.
Villar mentioned that the DPWH recently launched a mobile app "Infra Track" which allows the public to monitor the status of all public works in the country.
DPWH has adopted a "geotagging technology" to enhance transparency and accountability in project implementation in a bid to curb ghost projects, said Villar. -- Report from Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News