DOTr chief Tugade to MRT-3, LRTA, PNR: Hire qualified employees laid off from LRT-1

(Eagle News)–Transportation Secretary Art Tugade on Wednesday, Aug. 12, ordered railway authorities under the Department of Transportation to absorb several of the around 100 employees to be laid off from the Light Rail Transit-1.

In a statement, the DOTr said Tugade instructed the Philippine National Railways, the Light Rail Transit Authority and the Metro Rail Transit-3 to hire the “qualified retrenched employees.”

The Light Rail Manila Corporation, which operates LRT-1, had announced the “right-sizing program” following a 90 percent drop in ridership amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The LRMC had said there was a need to “optimize human resources” by reducing the workforce, noting that it had lost P175 million in the first half following the suspension of operations from March 17 to  May  31 under the strict community quarantine.

“Hire qualified personnel to our rail lines and projects. Kawawa ang mga tao. Kung kailan pandemya, tsaka pa sila mawawalan ng trabaho,” Tugade said.

“We must look into the possibility of absorbing them as quickly as we can. Huwag natin silang pabayaan. It’s the least and most humane thing we can do for them at this time,” he added.

The “right-sizing,” the LRMC had said, will take effect on Sept. 15.