MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation shared a photo of a significantly less crowded MRT-3 train on Monday and proudly proclaimed that it is working to fulfill its promises.
The photo posted on Facebook on Monday apparently contrasts with the usually cramped space the train line has been known for.
The image appears to be taken by social media user Markfil Tersol, while the screenshot was taken by Kim David.
The DOTr said the improved service was a result of the “annual general maintenance” done during Holy Week. It was also the result of spare parts brought in for MRT-3.
Other train riders on social media claimed that the image was true.
A Facebook user wrote: “Totoo ‘to. Saksi ako kanina. Hahaha. Nakaupo ako. 7:30 a.m. Nagulat din ako kasi ang bilis ng palit ng train.”
Another user commented: “AMAZING! Lumabas ako ng EDSA ng 830AM nakita ko ung North EDSA Station na walang pila. Good Job!”
A supporter of the Duterte administration also shared a live footage of a spacious train interior and said that its air conditioning system was fully functioning.
Still, nothing has changed?
There were others, however, who were not impressed. They claimed many of the usual train commuters were still spending time in provinces where they stayed for Holy Week.
As one Facebook comment goes: “Hintayin niyo makauwi lahat ng mga nagbakasyon. Bukas o sa makalawa yan, punuan na ulit yan.”
Sino ba nag ttweet dito na walang queue? Tangina kanina pa ko dito sa north edsa south bound paakyat pa lang ng station 30mins d pa ko nakakapasok hahahaha!! Bago ka mag tweet silipin mo muna!!!
— Furia Del Diablo (@furiadeldiablo9) April 3, 2018
By Tuesday, however, riders whose hopes were perked by the DOTr’s Monday photo came out disappointed.
Maging transparent naman po kayo. Di naman totoo na
13 ang trains. 30 minutes na kami sa pila, di pa rin nakakasakay. Kung naging honest kayo, nagbus na lang sana ako. Di pa ako nalate.
— Iana Amarise (@ianaamarise) April 3, 2018
30 minutos kaming pumila. Sobrang haba na kasi walang dumadating na tren at sobrang bagal pa gumalaw! Ito ba pinagmamalaki nyo?!
— Diosdado Dorante (@ejmtv3) April 3, 2018
History of breakdowns
Commuters’ skepticism of the MRT-3’s supposed improvements is not a surprise. The railway, after all, has suffered 33 glitches in the first 40 days of 2018.
It persistently broke down due to electrical and motor failures, signaling problems and generally poor maintenance, among others.
On March 28, it unloaded 800 riders when it stalled upon reaching Cubao Station.
It also encountered a motor failure on March 15, where 200 riders were unloaded in Quezon Avenue Station.
DOTr secretary Arthur Tugade recently expressed his dissatisfaction with the maintenance personnel of the railway line after he found out that they kept a faulty record-and-inventory keeping of its spare parts.