It's still a mystery for me as to why Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Emilio "Jun" Abaya won't accept Japan's Sumitomo Corp offer to be the maintenance provider of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3.
I've been patronizing the MRT ever since and it has been my top choice of transportation. Not only it is the cheapest, but it's also the fastest mode of transportation. Imagine, for someone like me who lives in the north which is Caloocan, traveling from North Avenue station in Quezon City all the way to Taft station in Pasay City can only take around thirty minutes of my time. That's a huge deal for me since if you happen to be traveling in a rush hour mode via bus, it can take you as long as three hours to make the trip. That's one horrible state in our traffic system that we are currently facing today. So for a commuter like me, MRT is a huge blessing. But will it always be the case?
With the current situation of the MRT, riding the train can also mean your last ride. Trains being derailed, the systems shutting down, power failure, we have yet to see things in their worst state. Is this a problem with the maintenance and operation or is it just another case of a corrupted management?
Sumitomo Corp submitted a proposal involving railway system rehabilitation over an eighteen (18) period at an estimated cost of $97 million. This is definitely a deal. After all, they are the top option as the maintenance provider for the MRT Line 3. However, Secretary Jun Abaya thinks otherwise. He won't sign the deal. As to why? We never really know. My speculation is he wants to pursue to buyout so that the government can take full control of the operations. Also, it's possible that Abaya wants to choose another maintenance provider in which he could gain personal interest just like with that happened with APT Global.
At the end of this issue, Secretary Abaya has all the say being the secretary of the DOTC. And one wrong move can change the future of the commuters. So is this yet another case of personal interest? Or is DOTC just being careful with the proposals Sumimoto is sending?
- Justin -