SEN. Grace Poe on Sunday urged officials of the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT 3) to conduct a rigorous technical evaluation of all coaches to prevent the recurrence of “life-threatening” glitches.
Poe, who heads the Senate Committee on Public Service, issued the call following an incident on Sunday when one of the coaches of a northbound train caught fire near the Mega Q-Mart area which is located between the Cubao and Kamuning stations.
The incident that happened at 10:20 a.m. forced the train operator to unload the passengers. No one was hurt.
Despite the incident, the senator believes that suspending the operation of the train system is not an option right now.
“While I agree that prevention despite possible inconvenience is better than having a disaster, on the other hand, traffic is already as bad as it is, and it will get worse when the Christmas season kicks in. Thus, we can expect more stranded commuters without the MRT,” Poe said.
She added that the decision to suspend the entire operation of the MRT line would depend on the management whose technical staff are in better position to assess the extent of the danger.
The MRT management assured senators during the budget deliberations that the line is safe to operate despite the glitches that occurred in recent days.
“The DOTr presumably has the technical expertise to assess the safety of the trains. If they do not act on this or continue to turn a blind eye, then the blame ultimately rests on their shoulders,” the senator said.
Technical problems have hounded MRT trains almost on a daily basis. From September 11 to 15 alone, a total of 17 glitches were recorded by the management.