Press Release
August 28, 2015


Sen. Grace Poe plans to inspect the China-made prototype train for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) when the Senate Committee on Public Services resumes its hearing on the troubled railway system on September 10.

The committee, which Poe co-chairs, is expected to tackle the progress of the rehabilitation plan being implemented by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) for the MRT-3 from the last hearing held on March 2.

"The upcoming hearing will be a chance to reveal whether the trains are compatible with our MRT-3 system and see how well they perform," Poe said, referring to the prototype of the 48 new trains made by China's Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co. Ltd. CNR Group.

The DOTC is spending P3.759 billion for the purchase of the trains from China.

Poe, who also chairs the Public Services subcommittee on transportation, said she expects the light rail vehicle prototype to be "ready and moving" by Sept. 10.

She said the committee will also scrutinize the contract to ensure that the government will not be shortchanged by the supplier of the train cars.

"We also have to know the terms of the contract entered into by the DOTC with the supplier. We have to make sure that liability of the supplier is specified in case the trains have defects or if they prove to be incompatible with the MRT-3 system," Poe said.

The DOTC earlier said the prototype arrived from China on August 14 and was expected to be assembled by the end of August.

Poe said she will ask the DOTC officials to explain the delay in the delivery of the 48 new train sets initially expected to arrive in batches starting next month.

"Every delay means more hours wasted by MRT-3 commuters in the long queues in train stations. Every delay only prolongs the agony for our long-suffering commuters. DOTC owes them an explanation on what causes these delays," she said, expressing disappointment on the "very slow" progress of DOTC's MRT-3 rehabilitation plan.

Instead of the September 2015 target set by the DOTC for the start of the monthly delivery of the 48 three-train cars, the timeline has been pushed back to January 2016.

The inadequate train sets and frequent technical glitches have resulted in long lines in MRT-3 stations, to the disgust of commuters.

Poe had previously expressed dismay over the DOTC's failure to realize "target deliverables" that its officials have mentioned in previous hearings like the delay in the construction of common stations to link the MRT-3 to the Light Rail Transit-Line 1.

The committee is also expected to scrutinize the maintenance contracts recently awarded by the DOTC for the 16.9-kilometer EDSA-based railway system that stretches from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City.

News Latest News Feed