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‘Bayanihan,‘ not ‘turuan,‘ on LRT-2

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On 3 October 2019, two rectifier substations (RSS) of the LRT-2 system caught fire, resulting in the suspension of operations for the whole LRT-2 line until yesterday. With the LRT-2 as one of the main lines serving a huge number of commuters in Metro Manila, we acknowledge that the recent incident is a difficult challenge, a situation that all of us did not want to happen.

They say when a difficulty hits you, don’t dwell on it. Instead, move forward. So, what are we doing now to lessen the inconvenience to the riding public?

According to the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA), partial operations are being targeted this week, from Cubao station to Recto station, while full operations will be ready within nine months.
In the meantime, the stations of Santolan, Katipunan and Anonas will be temporarily unavailable as the damaged RSS will undergo extensive repair works.

A closure of this scale requires the solidarity and assistance of government agencies to make sure that our commuters feel safe and secure while giving them the immediate assistance they need to avail of alternative public transport systems.

It is in these difficult times that the Filipino spirit of bayanihan surfaces. Now, the riding public needs our bayanihan more than ever.

Yesterday, various government agencies immediately aided commuters along Marcos Highway, as early as 5 a.m., by providing free bus rides and Point-to-Point (P2P) buses under the government’s bus augmentation program. Additional personnel and enforcers were also deployed along the highway to support and assist the queuing of commuters so that everyone would be able to ride public utility vehicles (PUV).

From a communications perspective, the LRT-2 remains the focal point for all relevant information and updates regarding the rail line, with the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and its attached agencies assisting in the blasting of information. Over the past few days, we extend our sincerest appreciation to LRTA administrator General Reynaldo Berroya, LRTA deputy administrator Paul Chua, and LRTA spokesman Atty. Hernando Cabrera for keeping the public informed at all times.

Bayanihan has come into life, and we could not be more grateful to the people who continue to help their fellow kababayans along the way. We thank our heroes from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Philippine Coast Guard, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Land Transportation Office, Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group, Inter-Agency Council for Traffic, as well as various private bus and modern PUV companies. Your generosity of spirit is instrumental as we help the LRT-2 get back on its feet.

To the riding public, we request your patience and understanding, as we are doing our best to attain partial operations for the LRT-2 within the week. In the words of DoTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, “We will handle all these together.”

During the weeklong assistance, Secretary Tugade has instructed attached agencies of the DoTr to constantly inform the public on how they can avail of the government’s bus augmentation program. He wishes for the program to be continued and reviewed as an initiative that will alleviate the plight of our commuters, and not as another complication to the country’s present traffic state.

The Transport chief has also given instructions to the LTFRB to issue special permits to buses, with issuances to be done on-site. The riding public can avail of these buses with the same rate as riding the LRT-2, or even lower. This is our contribution to our commuters affected by the recent incident.

Designating and authorizing spokespersons in cases of emergencies and dire situations must be centralized and well-coordinated to achieve maximum results, according to Secretary Tugade. In light of the recent LRT-2 situation, daily reports will be disseminated regularly to the public, explaining the state of the rail line, and proper explanation on why it will take a maximum of nine months to fully operationalize.

Again, the DoTr, LRTA and other attached agencies would like to apologize to the public for the recent inconvenience. Rest assured that this government is laying down all efforts to help our commuters reach their destinations on time.

This is a government that stands united in the face of challenges, our efforts trained on a singular goal: to help the riding public.

We are all in this together. Hindi ito oras ng sisihan o ng turuan. Oras ito ng bayanihan.

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