‘Filipinos deserve better’: MRT-3 glitch during rush hour irks commuters

October 5, 2022 - 2:34 PM
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Passengers wearing masks for protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) queue to ride a train while others exit at a station in Manila, Philippines, April 4, 2022. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

A technical glitch on the signaling system reported along a track circuit approaching Taft Avenue station disrupted Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3) operation, leaving hundreds of commuters waiting in long lines on Tuesday evening, October 4. 

Following the glitch, a “provisional service” was implemented at 4:59 p.m. between the North Avenue Station and Shaw Boulevard Station, MRT 3 said in an advisory

“At around 6:53 p.m., the technical glitch on the track circuits was resolved, with both of the platforms (Northbound and Southbound) along Taft Avenue station fully operational,” MRT 3 said. 

How the public reacted

A commuter took to social media to share the situation at Ortigas station where several commuters packed the vicinity of the station.

“Dito bagsakan lahat ng mga taga South para sa Carousel. No MRT rides going to Taft due to technical problem (ata),” Facebook user Cha Padilla wrote.

The long queue left commuters frustrated.

“Pagod ka na mag trabaho maghapon at uwing-uwi ka na para makakain, makapag bihis at pahinga na sana pero dahil sa ganyan sistema natatagalan ka pa maka-uwi,” a Facebook user said

“Magtitiis ka mag-antay at tumayo pumila, lalo na yung matatanda at meron mga dalang bata na naiinip at irita na pasakit to masyado,” she added. 

“Mas pagod ka sa byahe at pila kesa sa work hays,” an online user said.  

“How could the government ignore that problem? I’m sure plenty of investors would be willing to build a new public transportation system. The need is blatantly obvious,” a Facebook user said

“The sad part is these people want to work and be productive but they have no way to get there,” she added

Others, meanwhile, noted that the long queue had been part of the daily lives of commuters. 

“Parang ngayon lang kayo nakakakita nang ganyan halos naman araw[-araw] ganyan pag rush hour,” the Facebook user said

“Kahit walang technical problem ganyan naman everyday ang pila tuwing umaga at hapon lalo na kapag maulan,” an online user said

Some also demanded a better public transportation service. 

“Let’s stop glorifying resiliency. This country has one of the highest income taxes in Southeast Asia. We don’t deserve mediocrity; let’s demand what ought to be,” a Facebook user said

“Hard-working Filipinos deserve way better than this,” another wrote.

Wagons repair, replace

A few hours before the technical glitch was reported, the Department of Transportation announced that 65 wagons of the MRT 3 were overhauled. 

When a wagon is overhauled, its parts are repaired and replaced. It also undergoes a series of system checks to ensure safe travel, the agency noted. 

Overall, only seven of the 72 MRT 3 wagons are scheduled to undergo general overhaul by the line’s maintenance provider Sumitomo-MHI-TESP.

Metro Manila Subway underway

On Monday, October 3, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. led the groundbreaking ceremony for two Metro Manila Subway (MMS) stations, which he said are expected to benefit 150,000 passengers in 2028. 

Marcos said that the project is expected to cut travel time between Quezon City and Ninoy Aquino International Airport from 90 minutes to 35 minutes. 

Once completed, the MMS will be the country’s first underground railway system.

The subway project is supported by a P112.9 billion loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.