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MRT-3 rehab on track to achieve total completion in July 2021 —rail official

The total rehabilitation of all components and systems of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) is on track to be completed in July 2021, a top official of the mass rail transit system said Thursday.

In fact, the rehabilitation works are moving ahead of schedule, MRT-3 director Mike Capati said in a press conference in Quezon City.

Japanese service providers Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries started working on the MRT-3 last May.

“‘Yun pong maintenance rehabilitation ng ating mga riles dapat ho ‘yan first quarter of next year, magi-istart na po tayo ng November,” Capati noted.

“Meaning to say advanced po ang mga projections na nache-check namin. Ang delivery po ng spare parts are coming in ahead of time,” Capati noted.

The 4,053 new rails of 18-meter length to replace MRT-3’s old rails arrived from Japan in July, and more rails are scheduled for delivery in October.

The Department of Transportation earlier said that the new rails were to arrive two to three months ahead of schedule, keeping the 26-month rehabilitation on track by July 2021.

“Pakiusap namin sa publiko na hindi po kasi 24 hours kayang i-rehab ang buong sistema ng MRT-3. Ang target po namin diyan ay 26 months, we’re down to 22 months na,” Capati said.

“By July 2021, assured tayo na lahat ng po ng components at system ng MRT-3 ay fully rehabilitated na,” he said.

Sumitomo officially started the rehabilitation and maintenance works in May this year.

The total cost of the MRT-3 rehabilitation is P21.96 billion, of which P18.76 billion is official development assistance loan from JICA. The balance of P3.19 billion is funded locally.

The P18.76-billion loan agreement for the project was signed by the Philippine government and Japan International Cooperation Agency in November 2018.

Roughly ¥38 billion, the loan carries an interest rate of 0.1 percent per year with a repayment period of 28 years after a grace period of 12 years.

The Rehabilitation and Maintenance Agreement with the DOTr was signed in December 28, 2018.

The contract covers the electromechanical components, power supply, rail tracks, depot equipment, and overhaul of its 72 light rail vehicles.

Once rehabilitated, the MRT-3 is expected to return to its high-grade condition.

The number of operating train sets will be elevated from 15 to 20 at peak hours, and the trains’  operating speed will be doubled to 60 kilometers per hour—slashing the time intervals between trains from 7 to 10 minutes to 3.5 minutes. —VDS, GMA News