Japan-backed MRT-3 rehab project by the numbers

Darryl Esguerra
PUBLISHED May 16, 2018 11:16 am

(Inside Manila) The MRT-3 train system has been facing numerous malfunctions in recent years due to substandard maintenance and underinvestment in system renewal requirements.

In 2017, the shabby metro rail system, reportedly suffered at least 500 disruptions.

When it took over as MRT’s interim maintenance provider, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said there should ideally be 12 to 15 trains in operation. But early this year, the MRT had become so unreliable that there’s actually a time only seven trains on the average are running for 250,000 daily commuters.

The train system, which runs through the Metro’s busiest thoroughfare, was in dire need of an upgrade. Luckily, there’s still hope. But it will take time and money, a big chunk of time and money. Here’s why.

Scope, Cost and Timeline

The minutes of discussion for the appraisal mission for the MRT rehabilitation deal between Japan and the government was attended by representatives of the DOTr and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) last Friday.

The DOTr said the rehab will take 43 months or more than 3 years and will cost the country a whopping P16.985 billion.

"[It will take] 31 months for the simultaneous rehabilitation and maintenance works to restore MRT3 to its original design condition and capacity, and 12 months for the defect liability period," the transportation department said.

It added that the project will cover the MRT’s trains, power supply system, overhead catenary system, radio system, CCTV system, PABX public address system, signaling system, rail tracks, road rail vehicles, depot equipment, elevators and escalators, as well as other station building equipment.

The Japan-backed rehabilitation and maintenance project is intended to “fix everything that needs to be fixed” in the MRT through a well-qualified, experienced and single-point-of-responsibility rehabilitation and maintenance service provider.

The new rehabilitation and maintenance service provider will be mobilized after securing the loan agreement from Japan next month.



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