THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said the rehabilitation of the Manila Metro Rail Transit System (MRT)-3 will be suspended during the one-month enhanced community quarantine imposed on Luzon.

Wala pong rehabilitation (There will be no rehabilitation) for the duration of the enhanced quarantine,” MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael J. Capati told reporters in a Viber message Tuesday.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered Luzon placed under “enhanced community quarantine” to stop the COVID-19 outbreak that has killed at least 12 people in the Philippines.

The governments ordered the suspension of operations of public utility buses, jeepneys, taxis, transport network vehicle service (TNVS) ride-share vehicles, FX and UV Express vans, Point-to-Point (P2P) buses, motorcycle taxis, and trains.

The Trade department said supermarkets, drugstores and banks will remain open, while cargo will be allowed to cross checkpoints unhampered.

MRT-3 service providers Sumitomo Corp., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, Ltd., and TES Philippines, Inc. (Sumitomo-MHI-TESP) have been contracted to overhaul all 72 Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs). The contractors are also to replace all mainline tracks, rehabilitate power and overhead catenary systems, upgrade signaling, communications and CCTV systems, and repair all escalators and elevators.

On whether the maintenance works are also affected, Mr. Capati said: “Skeletal po ang maintenance (Maintenance will be performed by skeleton crews).”

MRT-3 ticket sales fell 7.7% to P1.91 billion last year while ridership in the Baclaran-North Ave. line dropped 7.1% to 96.93 million, according to the DoTr.

In 2017, ridership was 140.15 million, up 4.6%, while ticket sales hit P2.78 billion, up 3.7%. — Arjay L. Balinbin