Miyerkules, Setyembre 17, 2014

Metro Rail Accidents and other future mishaps

The solution to the metro rail accidents and the gigantic traffic jam affecting Manila and nearby locales is a pipe dream. The decrepit mass transit system will stay the way it is, despite the fact that the Philippine public sector brags about purchasing the MRT transport utility for more than One Billion Two Hundred Million United States Dollars (US$1.2 B) using taxpayers’ money.

On the other hand, the media hype and the traffic drama arising from the so-called overstocking of container vans in Manila is just that: part of a telenovela.

The elite and finest Manila Police District alone, all on its very own, can solve the problem about the so-called crisis that took the entire government months and weeks and too many conferences, overt and cloaked, to solve.

It is a simple problem, ask the Manila Police that holds the time-honored distinction of being almost all of Asia’s silent university for solving traffic management problems or any other traffic-related concerns – were it not for the hidden intentions to prolong the bull shit about over stocking and causing single vehicle stalls that create 5-hour or more traffic jams unheard of in the history of this country. Just because of a simple 1-truck stalling incident. Not particularly defensible nor justifiable at all, Your Honors.

Supposedly a gargantuan problem besets the Philippine Mass Rail Transit system that is one of the sectors dominantly held and controlled by foreign interests.

What does Anglo-Philippine Holdings mean to you? To the average rail commuter? What does MRTHI mean to any of us? Or the banks LBP? DBP? Nothing, obviously, except that they own 100 percent of the Metro Rail. On the other hand, the government now completely owns and runs the Light Rail Transit – that is no longer in private hands.

These entities Anglo-Philippine Holdings, Metro Rail Transit Holdings, Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines and other closely linked institutions determine the life of every commuter that steps on board an MRT coach.

For those injured in the recent MRT mishap at the Pasay Terminal, look for the people behind Anglo-Philippine Holdings, Metro Rail Transit Holdings, Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines, et al to sue. With the incumbent regime officials on their side, taking their defense while at the same time stabbing their backs.

So now the government is ending the back-stabbing and the enormous shame that goes with it and claim the MRT as a public sector asset. Remember what they say when a utility is in public sector hands? Its transactions will reek of corruption so the government determines to unfollow and unfriend the model of U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, Europe and others in privatizing government assets.

The regime of the late Madam Corazon Aquino started the privatization frenzy in the Philippines. This was followed by the succeeding Philippine presidents since and now Mr. Aquino wants to buy back the debt to Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC), a subsidiary of Metro Rail Transit Holdings (MRTH) which in turn is co-owned by Anglo-Philippine Holdings also peculiarly known as the APO.

What is in store for the MRT riding commuter? More accidents? Real to goodness mass casualty incident where a train smashes through a throng of vehicles and people involving no less than fifty to a hundred dead and two, three hundred injured?

And all because you can’t buy newer more functional coaches, ride more people, allow unsafe buses, jeepneys and shuttle vans to dominate the transport system.

Buses are no longer allowed in city streets in Metro Manila.
But lobby money keeps flowing and they continue to terrorize
the streets of Metro Manila with abandon threatening to kill
at any time with the government always looking the other way.

Contract fare Mini Van Shuttle figures in accident.
Too many of these utility vehicles are not even licensed
to navigate the streets of Metro Manila or the suburbs.

Train rams jeepney. This should not happen if jeepneys are plying routes
outside of Metro Manila busy thoroughfares and railway routes.

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