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Nuknukan talaga! Find out Tugade’s latest excuse on delays in getting new MRT contractor

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Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said the deployment of the trains purchased from Chinese firm CCRC Dalian has caused the delayed entry of a new maintenance provider for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3).

“I want it to be signed by August or September. The reason why it was not yet signed is the issue on the Dalian trains still needs to be settled,” Tugade said in an interview with reporters.

The DOTr was eyeing Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to take over MRT system’s maintenance and rehabilitation by August or September.

The Philippine National Railways (PNR) is set to conduct simulation tests of the 48 Dalian trains to determine if these are safe for public use.

The train sets will be placed in provisional revenue service by the MRT-3 for at least 150 hours.

The PNR will then recommend whether the train sets are suitable for revenue service or there is still a need for CCRC Dalian to make adjustments.

The company has earlier said it has agreed to shoulder the costs of modifying the trains.

Tugade earlier said remedies to be done on the Dalian trains should not be shouldered by the government.

Findings of an audit conducted by independent audit and assessment (IAA) consultant TUV Rheinland earlier this year showed that the weights and measurements of the Dalian trains did not comply with DOTr’s terms of reference.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee has approved last August the PHP22.061-billion MRT maintenance project.

The rehabilitation will increase the number of train sets in operation from 15 to 18 train sets per hour, increase the maximum speed to 60 kilometers per hour and decrease headway to 200 seconds. (PNA)