LRMC, the new managers of the LRT, their “bosses” at the DOTC, and their Topmost Boss
President BS Aquino once again displayed for all to see—and shudder from—their unconscionable thoughtlessness and lack of charity and concern for the safety and welfare of ordinary people.
They allowed for days the door of a carriage of an LRT1 train to be out of order while letting that train go on its merry way everyday.
We will use the words of our country’s most patriotic association of scientists and technical professionals to describe this abominable negligence and lack of simple concern for the well-being of the millions—including children and senior citizens—who use the LTR1 trains.
AGHAM, the scientist activist group, issued a statement headlined: “LRT1 door flop not the first time but been running on for days.”
It goes on as follows:
Scientist activist group Agham—Advocates of Science and Technology for the People—decried the continuing neglect of the LRT1 train system, which places in serious risk the riding public’s safety.
This came after a student commuter posted a video yesterday (March 10) on Facebook showing how the LRT1 train he was riding continued to run despite its door failing to close. The said train continued to run from UN station to Pedro Gil, which is about 1.9 km long, without any move from the management to fix the problem.
“Under normal operating conditions, LRT trains should not run if its doors are still open, as a safety precaution. The fact that the trains continued to run leads us to think that it was either allowed to happen by altering the train’s previous failsafe system or the failsafe system was weak in the first place,” said Cleng Julve of Agham.
“This is clearly an act of neglect on the part of LRMC. Contrary to its promise of providing the riding public with affordable and efficient rail transport, it puts us into a very dangerous—even deadly—situation,” said Julve.
Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) overtook the operations and maintenance of LRT1 last September 2015 as part of its concession agreement with the DOTC under President BS Aquino’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Program.
Julve also underscored that this was not the first time that this happened with the LRT1.
“In fact, one of our members reported that this malfunction has already happened as early as March 8. For LRMC to allow the trains with faulty doors to run days after the glitches first manifested is a very serious case of disregard for passenger welfare,” said Julve.
“After over a year of [passengers]paying for increased fares, it is unacceptable that we still have to contend with faulty and leaky trains. It seems that we will see a repeat of the MRT experience should the government not intervene in this matter,” warned Julve.
The MRT was previously exposed to be five times more dangerous compared to its US counterparts due to the frequency of glitches it suffers, according to one study by Agham.
“The LRMC has only been operating for almost half a year but it has already shown how inept its management is, as if a foreboding vision of the rest of the 32 years it will be managing the operation and maintenance of the train line,” Julve said.
“We call on the DOTC to hold LRMC accountable for this incident. Furthermore, we reiterate that privatization will not solve the ills of our urban rail system as we have seen from this episode,” said Julve. “Instead of hyping up the PPP program, government should instead allocate resources to improve our train systems and appoint experienced and honest officials to see this through.”