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DOTC Secretary Abaya: MRT3 Mishap Due To Drivers Error #ViralInternetLinks

Is it true that they connected and locked the coupling properly? If it’s locked, they were doing the right procedures? Is there a coupler’s mechanical failure? Or, the driver’s forgot about the downward slope?

Today, DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya announced to the media that the two train drivers, James Duque, Heigen Villacarlos, control center personnel Joey Diokno and at least one other employee will be charged administratively. They failed to follow protocol when a southbound MRT train stalled past the Magallanes station on Wednesday afternoon last week.

It’s James Duque who drove the train that stalled because of insufficient power. The MRT control center’s solution through Joey Diokno was to order another train, driven by Heigen Villacarlos, to come to the rescue by pushing Duque’s train forward to the next station.

As what the instruction of the control center, Heigen Villacarlos – the driver who manned the second train – attached the coupling mechanisms of the two trains, and it was disconnected from the operational train that was pushing it.

DOTC Secretary said, “After attaching the coupling mechanisms of the two trains which was not part of the procedure, Heigen Villacarlos cranked it after it engaged. Once you have engaged [the two trains], do not touch the coupling the mechanism 'cause cranking could actually decouple the mechanism.

Abaya said the two coupled trains reached a speed of 40 kilometers per hour, much faster than the hauling speed limit of just 15 kilometers per hour. The speed record came from the black box of the rescue train. He said the stalled train had no power and its black box also couldn't record such data.

"Human error" is either due to poor training or unclear policy. Both training and policy generation is the responsibility of management. So, management is still liable for not ensuring that their drivers are certified and trained properly and clearly understand the SOP's on public safety during incident like this.

Moreover, the responsibility lies with the Head Management to check and recheck their manpower status. DOTC would conduct a more rigid training session for drivers. The DOTC will also have “audit” teams that will conduct spot checks on drivers, to ensure that they have proper mastery of emergency procedures. These awareness, training or readiness is the focus of Secretary Abaya not commenting non-sense, "Riding is a personal decision. I won't go of my way to convince people to ride the MRT."

The employees will be charged administratively, but the poor maintenance of the trains added to the human error that was being contributed. They should be focused with the trains maintenance and constant monitoring of its operations.

Before, Metro Pacific (a unit of PLDT) has offered DOTC/government to shoulder all costs including buying new trains and maintaining them because the trains purchased by government are unsafe. But still, the government resumed its operation.

Chinese contractor appointed has zero experience in the construction of light rail vehicles. Train specification and build are missing key safety components necessary to ensure the safety of the riding public. A proper way of maintaining the coasters are truly prioritized in dealing with its good services.

MRTC believes that the untested and incompatible trains may cause damage to the assets of MRT3 and further cause inconvenience to the public. In return of the proposal, Metro Pacific shall increase the public fares of MRT3 (but still cheaper than bus fares) and Metro Pacific will have both gains/losses from the train operations to make them recover their investment in the long run.

Government/DOTC did not respond at all. Only logical reason is they want to use public money instead of considering superior, free alternatives championed by MRTC.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other blog:OFW: THIS IS MY LIFE AND STORY Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.