Let’s all take a stroll down memory lane to exactly this day last year–a big day for commuters in the metro.

On October 3rd, 2019, an electrical fire sparked from a transformer along the tracks in between the LRT 2 Santolan, Katipunan, and Anonas Stations in Quezon City. The following day on October 4th, the said stations were shut down for safety reasons.

The initial target for the return of operations was December of 2019. However, upon further “inspection” of the damages, the Light Rail Transit Authority declared the need for a 9-month repair closure of the 3 stations. 

With only 2 months left before their June target-date, Light Rail Transit Authority spokesperson Hernando Cabrera pleads, the pandemic has set back a lot of their progress hence a need to push back the date of completion to September.

Fast forward to current times, October 4, 2020 an entire year since repair has commenced and yet no word from the transit group on this regard.

While the public was quick to find ways to get around since their inconvenient closure last year, this is one comeback the public will tirelessly rave about until the day it’s operational once again.

Not the first strike but definitely won’t be the last

This isn’t the first time we’ve celebrated a long-overdue project’s anniversary. In fact, we must also hold the LRTA accountable for the 2-station Masinag Extension that has been underway and causing traffic congestion along Marcos Highway for over 5 years now.

While that particular project was initially set to be fully operational by the tail end of 2019, it has also been pushed back to target the last quarter of 2020.

Once again, it is October of 2020 so the last quarter of the year has officially begun and yet we still see no end in sight for the project.

I guess what we’ll be waiting for is not its completion but another round of clownery brought to you by the pushing back of the project’s completion to 2046 when they will have hopefully run out of excuses for their inadequacy. Maybe we’ll get bonus clown acts when they announce that the transit line will be sold in parts to the Chinese government as a way to pay the country’s towering debt. Hopefully, we’ll still be around to say we called it.

Lost in Transportation

It seems like the LRTA was not the only service-provider slammed by criticism from slow implementation of projects but rather, the Department of Transportation as a whole. The DOTr’s delay in major transportation projects especially during quarantine–the opportune time of low public mobility.

A Senate hearing () of the DOTr’s P143-billion budget for 2021 was held yesterday with Nancy Binay strongly criticizing the Department’s wasteful spending on the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT), funded by a P16.5-billion loan from the World Bank.

In the 5 years since the 2015 launch of Cebu BRT, “we spent P7 billion but not a single excavation has been made,” according to Sen. Binay.

“The loan will already mature by June 2021 … [and] we will have to pay for it … We will also have to pay penalties for the [failure] in completing the project within schedule,” she added.

This is just one among the many failed projects tackled during the senate hearing including a similar P5 billion Japan-funded BRT project for Manila.

In total, the DOTr has wasted around P21.5 billion in foreign loans for mass transportation projects and that accounts only for projects in Cebu and Manila.

But I guess we have a P389 million, 9-hectare stretch of dolomite white sand to cover up Manila Bay Pollution. Right?

Related: Have you joined the Dolomite Challenge?

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