Resigned Cabinet member Vice President Jejomar Binay said the deteriorating condition and frequent breakdowns of the Manila Metro Rail Transit-3, which he called “train coffins,” are the best symbol of the insensitivity and incompetence of people in the Cabinet.
According to a report from InterAksyon, Binay said Philippines is the “first country in Souttheast Asia to have a Light Railway Transit (LRT).” However, there is failure in expanding and improving the mass transport system in the country. As a result, the transport system turned a “supposed symbol of pride into a symbol of failures.”
Recalling the incident last month when two trains collided at the Monumento station, Binay said what happened was puzzling. He noted that the trains were supposed to be at a down-time as it was not a work-and-school day.
“The 1.5 million riders of MRT and LRT everyday bring with them prayers that nothing wrong happens with the train coffin. I call it a train coffin, because I read a report saying MRT trains are five times more dangerous than those of other countries. The root of that, according to Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (AGHAM), is this — management failure – as they put it,” he disclosed; citing AGHAM’s data which reportedly reveals that the MRT had 3.48 injuries for every 100 million passenger-miles since 2013 while the American light rail has only 0.7 injuries.
On the other hand, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said Binay is not helping solve problems by simply criticizing and not presenting solutions. He added that the vice president never presented recommendations for the MRT when he was still a Cabinet member.
“Vice President Binay never approached us to convey his comments, recommendations, and solutions to rail issues. I have always remained approachable and always kept an open mind for any ideas. Not once did he bother to discuss rail issues with me,” Abaya stated, according to a report from GMA.
“MRT issues are technical in nature. Technical issues cannot be solved by political statements,” he added.
Binay also hit Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II who found his resignation speech funny; saying the system was not a laughing matter, Rappler reported.
“Aba, kung sa tingin ni Mr Roxas ay nakatatawa ang mga sinabi ko, gusto kong sabihin naman sa kanya, ‘Mr. Roxas, sa masang Pilipino hindi nakatatawa ang araw-araw ay hirap na hirap silang sumakay sa mga palpak na tren ng MRT (Well if Mr Roxas thinks what I said was funny, I want to tell him, Mr Roxas, to the Filipino masses, the daily ordeal of riding the failed MRT trains is not funny),’” Binay said.
Moreover, the MRT is infamous for giving poor services where commuters endure long lines to get on board, and suffer from the lack of coaches, overcrowding, and dysfunctional elevators and machines.