THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) on Sunday said it is ready to sign an agreement with the Japanese government for the use of official development assistance (ODA) to fund the rehabilitation of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) following the initial roll out of new trains.
In a statement, the DoTr said it deployed on Saturday the first of 48 light rail vehicles (LRVs) procured from Chinese company CRRC Dalian Co. in 2014. It noted the other LRVs are still undergoing assessment and validation before being deployed.
After adding the new trains, next for the MRT-3 is the entry of a new maintenance provider and the P22.061-billion loan from Japan for its rehabilitation.
Ang problema natin sa MRT-3 ay hindi lang ang kakulangan ng tren, na takdang tugunan ng dagdag na Dalian Trains. May problema rin sa lumang mga tren, sa riles, sa lumang signaling, at sa kung ano ano pa [The problem with the MRT-3 isn’t only about the lack of trains, which will be resolved by the Dalian trains. There is also a problem on old trains, rails, old signaling system, among others],” DoTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John R. Batan said in the statement.
The DoTr said the Exchange of Notes and Loan Agreement between the Philippines and Japan is scheduled for signing in early November, before the meeting of the Philippines-Japan High Level Joint Committee on Infrastructure and Economic Development in Manila.
The deal between the Philippines and new MRT-3 maintenance provider Sumitomo Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (Sumitomo-MHI) is also targeted to be signed after the exchange of notes and loan agreement.
The DoTr said engineers from Sumitomo-MHI have started advance transition works on the MRT last Oct. 15.
Earlier this month, Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade told reporters issues on the Dalian trains were causing delay in the entry of Sumitomo-MHI as maintenance provider for the MRT-3.
Third party auditor TÜV Rheinland said it found issues on weight, signaling, and compatibility of maintenance equipment with the Dalian trains, hence the delay in its deployment. Manufacturer CRRC Dalian then agreed to make the necessary adjustments free of charge. — Denise A. Valdez