The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has procured the services of an independent audit and assessment (IAA) consultant that will evaluate and make recommendations on the feasibility of using the 48 light rail vehicles (LRVs) that were delivered by Chinese railway firm CCRC Dalian and other components of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT 3).
The MRT management has already met with the winning IAA consultant international certification firm TUV Rheinland on January 3.
“Na-deliver na po ’yung mga bagon [The train coaches were already delivered] but we are unable to accept them unless our IAA consultant has certified their safety and compatibility with our system,” DOTr Officer in Charge Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said at a news briefing on Wednesday.
The DOTr assured that it would not interfere or influence the assessment of the IAA on the 48 LRVs.
“We will not in any way try to influence their independent assessment of the 48 cars from Dalian, at tayo po ay magdedesisyon base po sa kanilang recommendation. Kung sasabihin po nila na puwede po iyang patakbuhin ng kaagad-agaran, we will consider. Kung sasabihin po nila ay patatakbuhin ’yan na may kinakailangang adjustments, we will consider, of course not at our expense. At kung sasabihin po nila na kailangang ibalik ’yan, ibabalik po natin ’yan [We will not in any way try to influence their independent assessment of the 48 cars from Dalian, and we will be deciding based on their recommendation. If they advised that these should be deployed as soon as possible, we would consider. If they will advise that the coaches may be used by the system but with the necessary adjustments, we will consider, of course not at our expense. If they tell us that these should be returned, we would do so],” Batan said.
The DOTr official, likewise, said added the MRT 3 management would be conducting general maintenance works during the Holy Week break, as they expected the delivery of new spare parts vital to increasing the number of trains in the railway system.
Spare parts for the maintenance of the MRT 3 will start arriving in tranches from February to June, with the MRT 3 having started to procure them in November 2017.
At the same time, fare increases will not be implemented while there are no substantial improvements in the MRT operations.
Concerns have been raised with the 48 LRVs procured by the previous administration for P3.8 billion after they exceeded the weight prescribed in the terms of reference (49,700 kilograms vs 46,300 kg).
Defects on the traction motor and signaling system, as well as door failure are the major causes of unloading incidents in the MRT 3.
The DOTr vowed that it would implement upgrades on the electrical system and track configurations of the railway system by the second quarter of 2018.