Senator Grace Poe has made a career out of sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong and leveraging issues completely unrelated to her in order to forward her agenda. Her most recent ’cause’ is the MRT-3, which she described to media as in a state of “lumalalang kondisyon”.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) however, was not in the mood to becoming the latest toy of Poe’s political career. In a statement posted to their official Facebook page, the transportation agency politely and effectively rebutted Poe’s claims and educated Poe on why her assumptions were absolutely baseless.
The DOTr makes an important point – since 2016, services and operations have been improving. The statistics for unloading incidents and services interruptions were on an increasing trend until 2016, when they finally started going down. The new administration has been doing all it can to mitigate the negative consequences of the system they inherited – trains that need to be upgraded, replaced, and supplemented, mainline tracks that need to be replaced, and communication and monitoring systems that have long been overdue for an upgrade.
Poe is speaking out of turn and out of time. Her comments would have been timely in January 2016, but where were they then? In fact, her comments are just plain stupid and ignorant now. As one of the highest officials in the country, how did she not know that the rehabilitation of the MRT-3 is fully underway? The DOTr was helpful enough to inform the Senator that Japanese firm Sumitomo-Mitsubishi has begun the 26 month rehabilitation of the train line since May 1 this year.
Yes, the MRT-3 has been a pain point for metro commuters. It has suffered and caused suffering. But the DOTr is right – the facilities and services of the MRT have been improving, markedly so since President Duterte took over in 2016. While it’s still not on par with the bullet trains of Japan or the competent systems of other countries, it’s far from still degrading. Senator Poe surely cannot be speaking on behalf of the everyday commuters who have felt the improvements in operations. She’s just speaking to speak, commenting to have something to say, and giving her opinion just so we can all know she has one. But what she has to say is just misinformation and her opinions are either sorely uneducated or biased or both. Like the DOTr, we are not interested in being manipulated by Poe so she should just find another issue to meddle in.
Our transportation agency has a job to do and their doing it great. What about you, senator?