DOTr to decide on use of Dalian trains by Aug. 20

MANILA The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it would decide whether to use the 48 Dalian trains purchased from a Chinese firm for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) by August 20.?

This follows the result of an audit conducted by independent audit and assessment (IAA) consultant, TUV Rheinland, earlier this year that indicated the trains may be used for the MRT system as long as adjustments are made on their measurements and weight to comply with the terms of reference set by DOTr. ?

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Details on the adjustment must be finalized before a high-level meeting between the government and China, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said.?

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Kung saan kapag 'di nagkasundo idudulog namin ito sa high-level meeting. Yung high-level meeting po ay para sa mga proyekto kung saan magkakapit-bisig ang China at Pilipinas (We will be elevating this in the high-level meeting if we were not able to settle this. The high-level meeting is intended to ensure smooth coordination between the Philippines and China on the implementation of government projects), Tugade said in a radio interview Wednesday.?

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Tugade reiterated that remedies to be done on the Dalian trains should not be shouldered by the government.?

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"An internal auditor has conducted an audit on the situation of the Dalian trains. The result of the audit is these can be used but there are deficiencies in parts or spare parts that can be fixed. It was also stated that we must not put into jeopardy the safety of the riding public. This should be corrected without expense from the government, he said in Filipino.?

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Dalian has expressed their commitment to implement adjustments on the trains, he added.?

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Furthermore, the issue on Dalian must be addressed as the DOTr prepares for the entry of a maintenance provider that will conduct repairs on the train coaches and other facilities of the MRT.?

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The maintenance may last for a period of 43 months which might lead to the reduction in the number of MRT trains.?

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Target po namin na before August 20 ay may final na decision na 'yan: use or not use. If use, up to when? Kasi ang nakakatakot diyan kung di magagamit ang Dalian at isi-sige natin ang maintenance ng MRT-3 sa repair kulang kulang habang nagre-repair 12 tren. Kapag 12 trains kailan po ma-achieve yung 500-600y thousand passengers? 'Di po natin ma-achieve 'yun. Baka po magreklamo ang sambayanan na kukulangin (Our target is before August 20 there must be a final decision: use or not use. If we decide to use, up to when? Because what is alarming is if we will not be using the Dalian trains and we will be pursuing the maintenance of the MRT-3. There will be 12 trains running while the repair is ongoing. If 12 trains, when will we achieve 500-600 thousand passengers? We will not be able to achieve this. Our countrymen will be complaining that there are shortcomings), the secretary said.?

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The DOTr is eyeing Japanese company Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) to take over as MRT maintenance provider by mid-August to September at the latest. ?

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A loan agreement must be signed with the government of Japan to pave way for the mobilization of Sumitomo as maintenance provider of the MRT-3.?

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Last January, the DOTr has completed the procurement of an IAA Consultant that will evaluate and make recommendations on what to do with the 48 Dalian cars or Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) in addition to evaluating and making recommendations for other components of MRT-3?

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Concerns were raised earlier with the 48 LRVs procured by the previous administration for PHP3.8 billion after they exceeded the weight prescribed in the Terms of Reference (49,700-kg vs. 46,300-kg).?

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Compatibility with the MRT-3's maintenance facilities and signaling system were also an issue.

Source: Philippine News Agency