Public transportation: Worst failure of Aquino presidency!

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Last week, President Benigno Aquino 3rd finally put closure to the issue of his being open to a second term that even the editorial of the prestigious New York Times entitled “Political Mischief in the Philippines” bluntly criticized. Mr. Aquino reassured the Filipino people that he is not a “masochist,” who will go beyond the term of his office.

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I completely concur that PNoy is not a “masochist.” But how about being a “sadist” for inflicting much suffering on his fellow Filipinos? The thought came to mind when I read and saw the photos and videos of the myriad of our countrymen lining up at the Mass Rail Transit (MRT 3) stations along EDSA in Metro Manila. This has been going for the past two years under the Aquino administration.

Last Thursday night, I accompanied my foreign friends to the MRT station along EDSA near Ayala Avenue in Makati. They belong to a religious organization that is doing charitable works with the poor in the City of Manila. After our sumptuous merienda at Mary Grace restaurant in Greenbelt, we walked towards the MRT 3 station passing through Greenbelt 4, Landmark mall, Glorietta 2 and SM Makati.

When we finally reached the MRT 3 station, I saw a sea of humanity lined in several long queues. There must have been close to a thousand commuters. My estimate is that it would take my foreign guests at least an hour before they could take their ride. Afterwards, another hour for the coach ride along EDSA. All told, close to two hours instead of what would normally take 30 minutes.

What makes the matter worse is that the areas for buying the tickets and lining up have neither air-conditioning nor evaporative fans. I experienced the heat and humidity of the place – plus the congestion of the myriad commuters. Amazing how the Department of Transportation (DOTC) has not bothered to think of simple things like conventional electric fans to improve the situation therein.

Queuing up alone just to get inside the trains is already miserable, but what more being inside the coaches packed like sardines? No wonder that DOTC Secretary Joseph Abaya took his infamous train ride last week during the non-peak hours so he could be more comfortable. He even had an aide holding the umbrella for him beating the royalty in Europe and even President Barack Obama of America who holds his own umbrella.

Worse, the Transportation Secretary, who is the Liberal Party Secretary-General and acting president, took the coach reserved for women, the elderly and persons with disabilities (PWD). He may either think of himself as either gay and/or mentally-challenged to justify riding in the said coach. Or just sheer hubris exercising like royalty his prerogative as DOTC Secretary. As it has been often said: “Rank has its privileges!”

I agree with the clamor that President B. S. Aquino 3rd take up the MRT Challenge for him to ride the jampacked coaches and personally experience the suffering of the hundreds of thousands of commuters. It is the only way to do it. For him not to do so would simply confirm and reinforce the belief that he really hardly cares for the Filipino people that he calls – with all hypocrisy—his “BOSS!”

Malacañang Palace officials say that PNoy does not need to ride the MRT 3 for him to fully appreciate the situation. This is typical of the President when he shirks a challenge that tests the sincerity of his leadership. Unfortunately, he is a pathetic president who has not shown compassion for his own suffering people. He demonstrated this lack of concern and compassion when super-typhoon Yolanda struck in November last year, as well as in other calamities.

In complete contrast, Prince William and Princess Kate recently took the train back to London last week during the busy Friday rush hour. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went incognito “almost unnoticed” wearing baseball hats and dressed casually in jeans. They carried their own luggage over their shoulders—and not their security detail or “protection officers” doing it for them.

This simple act of the royalty together with their British subjects in the train surely endeared the monarchy to their people. (Prince William is second in line to the British throne after his father Prince Charles.) Even Queen Elizabeth is known to take frequent trips on scheduled trains from King’s Cross in London to King’s Lynn in Norfok and back to keep costs down on royal expenses.

Thus, why can’t PNoy of PH do it when the royalty of the UK (United Kingdom) can? Does Mr Aquino feel more of a higher monarch or just scared to ride the unreliable and dangerous train on top of the coaches’ congestion and the heat and humidity at the stations? Yesterday, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported “a failure in the communication systems last August 23 caused the entire line (of MRT 3) to stop operating half a day.”

The Inquirer also reported that last Tuesday, September 2, “the doors of the MRT3 coach opened as the train was running.” There is supposed to be a DOTC probe on the said incident, among several others including an accident that injured almost 40 persons caused by a derailment Secetary Abaya prematurely blamed on the drivers.

Over the past four years, Filipinos may not have noticed that it took so much time before President B. S. Aquino would visit the places in the country hit and damaged by the typhoons and flooding. Yes, he must be the President of the Philippines who takes the longest time to respond and inspect the areas stricken by natural disasters.

As usual, the national government is always late to respond, starting with the Office of the President in Malacañang with PNoy in particular! So what else is new?

rbrpilipinas@gmail.com

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20 Comments

  1. So sad to think that we call PNOY as a public servant whereas in the first place, he doesn’t have any guts to take a ride in the rotten trains. Take the words ‘public servant’ in your heart Mr. President and find out its real meaning. Credit grabber and whiner.

  2. RICK RAMOS, thanks for en explicit assessment of PNoy’s failure regarding transportation. He also acted more than a royalty by disregarding to see for himself what it is like to use commuter trains or transportation. He is very dismissal if the flights of those in need of public transportation or help.

    1. He took the NAIA improvement funds and put in them in his DAP. Now, NAIA has to be closed for repair at the expense of international flights.

    2. He was condescending to Yolanda (Haiyan) victims that they should be thankful they are alive.

    3. He shunned experiencing the inconvenience of using MRT and sounded very patronizing.

    Btw, “… He may either think of himself as either gay and/or mentally-challenged …” Mr. Ramos, being gay is not debilitating, shameful or disability. One can be proud of any sexuslity. I find Mr. Ramos’s comment offensive. He must apologize to all people, including PNoy, if he considers him gay.

  3. I have been living in Switzerland, my adopted country for 34 years. I just want to share a remarkable but normal things that government officials do in this country. The current president of Switzerland is Mr. Didier Burkhalter. What is so special about him? Nothing really, I said before, this is a normal way of life. He rides the train to work and travel within Switzerland, no bodyguards, no aids, just like everybody else…

    • in d Philippines even 1 cabinet Sec u have an entourage of 10-20 boothlickers ,excluding security details.

    • In terms of efficient Metro railway system or mass transportation, the poor Philippines is 100 years behind….one of the lowest per capita income in ASIA and the most corrupt government in the world.

      secondly, WHY poor? sapagkat ang mahigit kumulang na $500.0 billion hidden wealth by Filipino dictator and elites, na kanilang NINAKAW sa kaban yaman ng bayan are stored in SWISS BANKS…

  4. pubic transport just happens to be the most visible. his worst is dap. and soon water and power shortage.

  5. The last time i rode the MRT3 was in 2011, from Taft going to Ortigas Ave. I was shocked by the volume of people that charged into the train just at Ayala Station, especially with a girl in front of the doors that was suppose to disembark. Sardines in a can may arguably have more room.

    Never been back on an MRT train after that.

    Taxi fare that’s painful to the wallet is better than added stress and aching body.

    The LRT aint as scary but the last time, the interval between train arrivals ran from 5 to 7 minutes, therefore the trains and platform are always full. They also employ skip trains that are followed by two coach trains which is just stupid.
    I left the station and went back down to try my luck on a jeepney.

  6. simple explanation why noynoy will not take the MRT3 trip challenge. a 30 minute ride in MRT3 for him is very stressful and unbearable since he can not have a smoke to calm his nerves while inside the packed train coach. there is nothing in the world that can make him do so as he has already lost any compassion for his bosses.

    he will just say his famous words “buhay pa naman kayo, di ba?”

    • Yes, he may have anxiety attack if he cannot smoke – his addiction, among others.Yes, NO Compassion to the Filipino people whom he calls his “BOSS”with ALL Hypocrisy.

  7. kakahiya naman.d world is laughing at us again n again.even d doors of MRT malfunctioned.Abaya should have been der when d incident happens.He has no moral right to ride in d women/ladies/elderly coach.try riding without d d escort and fanfare.Surely Abaya will shit bricks!

    • DoTC Secretary Jospeh Abaya should have RESIGNED if he has any Decency in him. But apparently NOT!

  8. What else is new???? Since Abnoy took office, disasters after disasters, unlimited incompetence. . . . The Philippines should not have only blood bank or kidney institute, but we must also have a Brain Bank para ipahiram sa Malakanyang at kanyang Gabinete. . . .

    • There is a saying that there is “NO Medicine or Cure for Stupidity.” But a brain replacement might help.

  9. gabriela silang on

    aquino is relishing the traffic. it is a sign of economic advancement, according to him. am just aghast why it is a big deal riding the trains. we have even come to a point where taking the mrt is a challenge! oh my… where riding the train is but natural and ordinary in other countries, here it takes so much guts and courage with a lot of prayers jumping to the train. of course, you can not expect aquino to take the mrt challenge. and good for us riding public. you would be shooed away by the psg to give aquino the presidential comfort in the mrt – the equivalent of poor man’s hell. better yet, line them (aquino, abaya, abad, drilon, coloma) down the tracks and rolled over by the decrepit train. fair is fair.

  10. On transportation issue, maybe Ex-Pres. GMA ranks better than Noynoy because she had The iron laden man Mr. Bayani Fernando at the helm orchestrating the iron fist policy to grind whoever will stop or face him. His unheralded but got better and good moves. This administration is not a thinker but a whiner like PNOY. Address the issue not pocketing the money by DAP. Holdap biggest thief of these administration who should be jailed must be ABAD and DRILON if Vice President BInay will be elected as the next President.

    • No contest between GMA and P-Noy. Same for MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando and Francis Tolentino, former classmate of P-Noy at the Ateneo.
      The traffic mess we have now would NOT happen with GMA as President or FVR, who will NOT happen a situation to happen. Even ERAP did better in his 2.5 years as president.

  11. Pnoy(Panot) would not dare riding the “unreliable and dangerous train”. And if he does, there would be security details and demand that he should be the first passenger to go on board ahead of those who were in line for hours.

  12. Soter Francisco on

    He has been consistently showing his hypocrisy to his bosses. What a disaster and shame!

    • Hypocrisy & Hubris of Noynoy Aquino who became president because he is the son of former President Cory Aquino who died Nine (9) months before the May 2010 presidential elections.