The Hopeless Light Rail Transit (LRT) of Manila

The Hopeless Light Rail Transit (LRT)

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

When I took the LRT to Sta. Cruz on the morning of January 10, 2016, I noticed that the driver was not making announcements about precautions and as we were approaching stations as part of their standard operating procedure. Instead of the announcement via the PA system, the security guard on board was making the announcement to the highest level of his voice that he could muster. I presumed the driver was not in the mood or just plain lazy, until I finally drew enough courage to ask the security guard why it was so. He told me that the PA system of the train I have taken was kaput…broken…wrecked, defunct – for several days.

 

While the LRT management may treat such breakdown a trivial matter, for the commuters, especially, those who are new in Manila, it is not. The announcement being made as the train approaches each station is an important information for the local and foreign visitors who are taking the “risk” of riding the LRT train despite the discouraging forewarnings from the media about its frequent breakdown. Without the announcement, those who are not familiar with the stations along the route must crane their neck to have a glimpse of the station signboard or ask other passengers, otherwise, they might overshoot their destination.

 

The joke today is that, if one plans to take the LRT or its “sister train of anguish”, the MRT, he or she must have an “allowance” of at least two hours. The two hours are for the trek along the rails to the nearest station when the train suddenly comes to a grinding stop….yes, grinding because of the frightening “metal to metal” screeching sound of the wheels. When there’s a downpour, pity are those without umbrella. When the sun is generous with its scorching rays, pity are those without the same contraption for shade.

 

The elevators are still out of order. The escalators are still resting. The toilets are still padlocked, except for one or two. But, fortunately, the employees are doing their best to be nice with their ever ready smile and uncomplaining stance even when four or five passengers one after another pay in crispy one thousand peso bill. These are the people in the lower rung of operation who are trying make up for the handicaps of the LRT system. Meanwhile, those at the top, including the DOTC secretary, Emilio Abaya, are so embarrassingly naïve to the situation that noisy calls for their resignation fall to deaf ears….theirs and those of the president of the nation, Benigno S. Aquino III.

13 thoughts on “The Hopeless Light Rail Transit (LRT) of Manila

    • The Philippine government is so corrupt that practically, all systems have come to a halt….the present administration is so naive to the present situation of the country…if you come across a word “progress” that trails behind “Philippines”, it is just rubbish, a put on, a rouge to cover up the corruption in the government…..you are right in your presumption that the rest of the functions are in hopelessly bad shape. I am personally hoping that an sensible president will be elected….our election is on May 16, 2016. The traffic in Manila is hellish. Thank you.

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  1. In writing the following: The Philippine government is so corrupt that practically, all systems have come to a halt….the present administration is so naive to the present situation of the country…if you come across a word “progress” that trails behind “Philippines”, it is just rubbish, a put on, a rouge to cover up the corruption in the government…..you are right in your presumption that the rest of the functions are in hopelessly bad shape. I am personally hoping that an sensible president will be elected….our election is on May 16, 2016. The traffic in Manila is hellish.

    You are equating the Philippines with so-called failed states where nothing works: no water systems, no mass transport, no media networks, no semblance of civilized life. You are too harsh in judging your own country, and you wash this dirty laundry in cyberspace, for all the world to read! I would argue that Max Ehrman’s words still apply to the Philippines: with all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. The Philippines might be in a crucible of developmental ills right now, but it has glimmers of rising from the ashes.

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  2. hindi ko kasi ma-take ang patuloy na panloloko ni Pnoy na may progress daw sa Pinas ganoong wala naman….and I cannot take it na siya ay nagpapa-pogi sa buong mundo habang nagsa-suffer ang mga Pilipino na nagawa niyang mapaniwala noong nagkakampanya pa lang siya….hanggang ngayon, ang mga korap na taong iniluklok niya sa puwesto tulad ni Abaya ay malakas ang loob na hindi bumaba dahil alam nilang suportado siya ng presidente….I feel, na there is nothing wrong in letting the world see the true picture of the country…as a blogger, I am just being honest dahil kung hindi, at iba ang sasabihin ko, my conscience willl definitely bother me…

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  3. ay wala yang tourism na yan…alam mo ba na ang nilipatan ng Dept of Tourism ay isang building kung saan ay nangupahan sila – somewhere sa binabahang section ng Makati malapit sa Pasay Road?…paano silang malalapitan ng mga turista at mga tourism-related agencies dahil napakahirap din ng parking doon? yong CR na kung ilang taong nakasara sa tapat lang din ng Metropolitan theatre, kung hindi ko pa ini-blog ay hindi binuksan dahil wala daw tubig….now, nagtitiyaga silang maghakot pang-flush at ang nagbabantay na couple ay umaasa sa donations ng gumagamit…sa Anda Circle mismo ilang hakbang lang mula sa Fort Santiago ay may mga nakatira sa pinak-rotunda at ang gamit na “bubong” ay pinagtagpi-tagping tarpaulin, at ang lugar na ito ay ilang hakbang lang from Manila Hotel…grabe talaga!…yan ang daan matuwid!

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  4. Pingback: Dear VP Binay – aysabaw

    • Nakakalungkot talaga kaya yong mga kaibigan ko at ibang kamag-anak ay nagtitiyaga sa ibang bansa kaysa mangunsumi sa Pinas. Pero siguro kung talagang magri-retire na, pwedeng pumirmi na lang sa probinsiya and pretend na nasa paraiso lalo na kung ito ay sa tabing dagat o sa tabing bundok o ilog….subalit may problema pa rin pala dahil kung tag-bagyo naman, sigurado wash out ang bahay mo o baka malibing sa landslide o anurin kapag umapaw ang ilog….pray na lang muna for guidance!

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