SENATOR Nancy Binay said Tuesday that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) should fast track the regularization of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) operators.
She said train operators should be permanent employees of MRT-3.
"The contractual nature of their job does not provide them (the train drivers) enough time and opportunity to gain experience in handling the trains," Binay said.
Light Rail Authority (LRA) administrator Honorito Chaneco said during a Senate hearing Tuesday MRT train operators are contractual workers whose contracts expire every six months.
Chaneco said the MRT has 90 contractual drivers who receive a monthly compensation of P20,000, including the benefits of a regular employee except for tenure.
"What if the drivers could not renew (the contract) after six months? There will be loss of experienced drivers and the new operator is possible to have no or minimal experience (in operating the train)," Binay asked.
She said the rising number of incident of train malfunction is "alarming and endangers the lives of the commuting public."
"This takes time and if they're not renewed, you waste resources in training them and the first time around," she added.
Aside from gauging the passengers' security and safety, Binay said the regularization of the train operators could help them in the "moral and dignity of the drivers as well as to their family."
Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said they had already discussed the matter with the DBM, concerning the operator's situation.
Recently, Binay filed Senate Resolution 840 to promote a passenger-first mentality to public transport authorities and operators. (Sunnex)