If the different mishap shown on prime TV news involving the country’s Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3) has not jolted the Aquino government, specifically the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), from taking drastic corrective measures before lives are lost, hopefully the report made by experts from Mass Transit Railway Hong Kong (MTR HK) on the condition of MRT-3 will.
It is more of a chilling report on how poor management in operations and maintenance is endangering the lives of commuters availing the transport system.
The DOTC cannot simply wash their hands for the distressful state of MRT-3 for their negligence is what the report is all about. Not only have they compromise safety but in their laxity and inattentiveness to the needs of the system, they have readily and steadily shortened its expected lifespan.
To better appreciate the disturbing report, let me just cite some observations MTR HK made, as published:
MTR Hong Kong noted that the condition of the tracks is “most alarming and requires immediate attention.”
“A broken rail is a serious threat to the safe operation of a railway. It can potentially case train derailment resulting in substantial casualties in a high usage system like MRT-3.”
“Track condition is found to be in poor and unacceptable condition to allow continuous safe operations of the railway.”
The observations above seem to focus only on the rail and for a reason because that is what keeps the train on track running safely even at high speed.
Suffice to say that what the MTR HK team has found is that the pathetic condition of the country’s MRT-3 is because of DOTC officials’ inadequacy and inattentiveness, if not total ignorance towards: asset management and rail operations management in general, which includes maintenance programs for both carriage and railways, personnel training programs and safety programs. All these could prolong the life of the metro system making it even more profitable. But, its downfall could only be attributed to the indifference and lack of professionalism by people entrusted by no less than President Aquino to keep the metro transport running and in top shape and the riding public safe at all times.
This brings to fore the question that is in most people’s mind: Should MRT continue to be run by government or should a private entity be chosen to manage it?