Press Release
July 22, 2015

Drilon urges Aquino to take executive action to solve MRT woes

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today urged President Aquino to use his remaining months in office to crack the whip on underperforming officials to improve the delivery of services to the people.

He cited the case of the growing problems on the public transport system, as he also expressed concerns over the safety of the riding public who endure the everyday glitches in the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3).

At the same time, Drilon said the government should accelerate public spending in the last year of the Aquino administration, saying that underspending would pull down the country's economic gains.

"We must be more efficient in spending. The gross domestic product (GDP) has been affected by underspending. What we should realize is government spending is crucial to achieving overall economic growth because 20% of the economy depends on government spending," he concluded

In a televised interview on Tuesday, the Senate leader said that the government should come up with the solutions hounding the public transport system at least in the remainder of the Aquino administration.

"I would like to see in the last year of the President some firm executive action on transport services. Let's face it, the MRT-3 is a disappointment," he said.

"I feel the frustration of our people and so the improvement of services in this area is really critical," Drilon said, pointing to the recurrent troubles and issues faced by the Metro Manila-based mass transit line - capped off by a train accident last August 14 that left 38 passengers injured.

On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the operations at the MRT were disrupted due to technical glitches.

"So I would like to hear - and I'm sure the public wants to hear - what the administration is going to do, even in the remaining short term, to alleviate the situation of the commuting public," he then said.

While Drilon expressed disappointment at the state of the transport system, he does not support calls for the resignation of the officials involved: "No, we don't have to go into that. Let's provide more attention, closer supervision and monitoring."

"What is necessary is strong executive action. Spend what needs to be spent, and do what must be done, for the sake of our people. Afterall, the MRT and other rail systems, are at their essence, a public service" Drilon said.

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