P1.2B budget released for MRT3 rehab, capacity extension
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P1.207 billion ($27.32 billion) to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) for the rehabilitation and the capacity extension of the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT3).
The fund will also cover the replacement of the signaling system and the rehabilitation of escalators and elevators of the the train stations.
The rehabilitation of the MRT3 has been a long time coming, especially in the wake of frequent glitches that stranded, even endangered, passengers
On Wednesday, April 21, only 5 trains of MRT3 were running, causing long queues and angering commuters who had been lining up for hours.
“But the release of funds to rehabilitate the MRT3 will go a long way in improving not only the capacity of the mass transit system but the overall user experience,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said in a statement Wednesday, April 22.
P900 million ($20.37 million) will be spent on the replacement or upgrade of the obsolete signaling system.
The government will also allot P167.163 million ($3.78 million) for the supply and delivery of one lot rail grinder to repair the MRT3 tracks that have been damaged by stamping and shelling.
P90 million ($2.04 million) will go to the supply and delivery of one lot overhead catenary system road-rail vehicle for maintenance activities.
The remaining P50 million ($1.13 million) will be for the modernization of 12 elevators.
The MRT3 funds are part of the P22.47 billion ($508.64 million) supplemental budget, which was passed in December 2014. – Rappler.com
US$1 = P44.18