Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) should seriously consider the privatization of operation and maintenance of LRT Line 2 (LRT-2) to avoid disruptions in operations.
Gatchalian said the LRT-2 is the only remaining segment among the three existing LRT and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) lines that have yet to be privatized.
“Bukod sa paglalaan ng ng libreng sakay para sa mga apektadong pasahero ay kailangang paghandaan din ng LRTA ang long-term viability ng linya (Aside from providing free rides for affected commuters, the LRTA should also look into the long-term viability of the train line),” Gatchalian said.
“Sa ngayon ay pagsasapribado sa operasyon ng LRT-2 ang pinakamainam na solusyon (At the moment, the privatization of the LRT-2 operation is the most viable solution),” he said.
Operations of the LRT-2 have been suspended since Oct. 3 after a fire broke out at its Katipunan station damaging equipment and parts of the tracks. LRTA resumed partial commercial operations on Tuesday, Oct. 8, with trains running up to Cubao in Quezon City from Recto in Manila.
The line ferries around 220,000 passengers daily, according to the LRTA.
Senator Joel Villanueva, meanwhile, said the “transportation crisis” should prompt labor regulators and employers to utilize alternative solutions such as implementing telecommuting to maintain the productivity of workers.
“We want to create more options for our employees to fulfill their duties while minimizing the need to go out of their homes and travel to their places of work,” Villanueva said.
“Given our worsening traffic situation which is compounded by the partial shutdown of the LRT 2, it’s really high time for employers to consider the benefits of telecommuting,” he added.
The Telecommuting Law encourages employers in the private sector to adopt telecommuting, a work arrangement that allows an employee to work from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunication and other relevant technology, the lawmaker noted.
He said the law provides protection for workers who will decide (with agreement from their employers) to work from home.
Workers under a telecommuting arrangement will receive the same compensation and social protection benefits as other workers who report or work in offices. (PNA)