Palace: No recommendation for MRT 3 shutdown

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MALACAÑANG on Monday said Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya is not recommending the shutdown of Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3) along EDSA.

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“I have spoken to [Abaya] and according to him, there is no recommendation [for]a shutdown,” Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda told the media in a text message.

The recommendation will come from MRT chief Rena- to San Jose, who said he is not recommending any maintenance shutdown.

If a shutdown does occur, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board said about 50 to 100 buses will be needed to assist MRT 3 passengers.

MRT 3 experienced several disruptions in recent months caused by loss of power, damaged rails and, more seriously, accidents, including one that saw a coach crashing into a barrier, leaving more than 30 passengers injured.

A lawmaker earlier warned that commuters should brace for more accidents or breakdowns of the MRT 3 after its service maintenance provider contracted by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) admitted to having a depleted inventory of stock rails.

Navotas City (Metro Manila) Rep. Tobias Tiangco was referring to reports that as of September 4, the stock rails, which are used to replace worn-out sections of the tracks, were down to only two and half pieces even as the MRT 3 saw two disruptions early this month due to broken rails.

“I just hope and pray that there will be no more accidents because maybe, by this time, all the spare rails are used up. So how will the DOTC repair or replace the broken rails? The safety of our passengers could be at risk here,” Tiangco said.

He also earlier asked Abaya to heed safety recommendations of the MRT 3’s private owners, who had sent him several letters, which he allegedly ignored.

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