Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque promised on November 21 that he plans to take the Metro Rail Transit 3 every week to understand the commuters’ problems and bring them personally to the MRT management.
“I wish I could give you a deadline. All I can offer you is I can offer once a week to take MRT coming to work,” Roque told the media in a press briefing when asked if he could give a timeline on the resolution of the train’s issues.
“I can do that, so that I can complain personally to the MRT people. Maybe I’ll do that, once a week, I’ll do that,” he said.
Since his residence is in Quezon City, Roque said he would take the Katipunan station, but the reporters told him that the station is Light Rail Transit (LRT) 2, not MRT 3.
He insisted though that the station is in MRT.
“Oo. Okay. We’ll see you at 9 o’clock Katipunan Station, okay? On Thursday,” he said
Roque made his remarks after the government was slammed for an incident where an MRT coach was detached from the train near the Ayala Station last week. It disrupted train operations and caused a hundred commuters to walk to the station.
While he believed that there might have been a “sabotage,” President Rodrigo Duterte apologized to the commuters for the inconvenience brought about by the incident.
The Department of Transportation ended its contract with MRT maintenance provider Busan Universal Rail Inc. after a series of MRT breakdowns. The agency also filed plunder and graft charges against Aquino’s Cabinet members over the train’s woes.
On Twitter, someone reiterated what the reporters told Roque.
“Presidential spokesman Harry Roque says he’ll ride MRT once a week to know public’s struggle, but invites reporters to Katipunan Station, which is part of LRT2,” @dreocalonzo tweeted.
Other netizens also reacted to Roque’s promise, suggesting that he should also join the long queues at the MRT stations.
As for the solution to the MRT woes, Roque said that Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade assured him that the government will “revamp” the MRT system.
“He (Tugade) assured me they are going to procure a reliable maintenance contractor, rebuild new rails, buy new train cars and new signalling system. In other words they are revamping the MRT system,” the presidential spokesperson said.