The Department of Transportation released a video showing how their staff disinfects the coaches of the Metro Rail Transit Line after they were accused of conducting a hasty cleaning routine in a video that went viral over the weekend.
The short video shared Monday showed how the MRT staff conducts a “thorough” five-minute disinfection “hustle” which is done whenever a train reaches the terminus at either North Avenue Station or Taft Avenue Station.
The DOTr-MRT said the handstraps, handrails and seats of each train coaches are disinfected within that period, which is based on Japan’s “seven-minute miracle.”
In Japan, bullet trains or the Shinkansen are cleaned within that time limit to allow for fast departure and accommodate its busy passengers. This was before the pandemic happened.
MRT-3, meanwhile, is the only railway that traverses EDSA and seamlessly connects people to different cities in the capital region, making its headways crucial to passengers who work in the country’s economic and financial hub.
The DOTr-MRT added that elevators, escalators, restrooms and other facilities of the MRT-3 are regularly cleaned as well.
“Ang regular na pagdidisinfect ay kabilang sa 7 Commandments na ipinatutupad ng rail line, ayon sa rekomendasyon ng mga eksperto sa kalusugan,” it said.
These include the regular wearing of face masks and face shields, no taking of phone calls in transit, no eating, having adequate ventilation in public utility vehicles, the no-ride policy of passengers showing COVID-19 symptoms in public transport and maintaining physical distancing measures.
The DOTr released the video after an online user last Saturday shared a clip showing two personnel quickly walking down the train coaches and doing disinfection measures.
This was called out by social media who perceived the measure as “lazy” work.
“Disinfectionism what?” a Facebook user who uploaded the video wrote as a caption.
Others similarly expressed their concerns on the cleaning method at the MRT in the comments section.
“Parang nag-hi-high five lang si kuya ah,” a Facebook user wrote in response to the video.
“Gawain petiks……ampota… Buti pa ung sa PNR eh….talagang pagdating ng Alabang or Tutuban…protocol talaga na spray na malakas, ‘yun pang disinfect…. masatisfy ka na nalilinis…” another online user claimed.
“SALUTE MGA TAMAD. ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES,” wrote a different Facebook user with a facepalm emoji.
The day after the video was uploaded, the DOTr released a statement through its MRT-3 Facebook page and reassured the public of its disinfection protocols in the busiest railway in the country.
“Netizens have called our attention about a video uploaded yesterday, 13 March 2021, on Facebook showing MRT-3 cleaning staff members as they were hastily disinfecting one of our trains,” the transport agency said.
“We are assuring the riding public that matters have been taken to prevent a repeat of that unfortunate incident and that the personnel involved are now facing disciplinary action. The MRT-3 management will not tolerate any breach of health protocols as we stem the spread of COVID-19 while serving the daily transportation needs of commuters,” it added.
The DOTr said that it has reminded its staff about doing “focused” disinfection despite doing it quickly to keep the passengers’ safety as top priority.