MISLEADING: 48 'brand new' trains under Duterte
Claim: In less than a year under President Rodrigo Duterte, 48 new train cars for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 were made available, helping ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
The blog ddsfiles.xyz in its August 7 post ran the headline: “Good news: Tatak Duterte! Wala pang isang taon 48 brand new tren na, iwas traffic na mga ka DDS!” (Good news: Duterte style! In less than a year, Duterte bought 48 new trains to ease traffic!)
It only contained a YouTube video from channel “Duterte NEWS PORTAL” uploaded on March 1, 2017, with two news reports that discussed the final testing of the trains.
The post garnered 247 reactions, 186 comments, and 106 shares on Facebook as of August 8, 2018.
The claim has also been posted in two video-hosting websites, ru-news.net and am.cirrus-data.net.
The facts: The 48 train cars are still parked, and have yet to be deployed as of this posting because of lingering issues.
These train cars were bought from Chinese firm Dalian Locomotive by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III for P3.76 billion. The contract was awarded in January 2014, and the coaches were delivered starting late 2015.
The trains have yet to be used to date. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) – the successor of DOTC – discovered in early 2017 that each train weighed 49.7 tons, raising issues of it being too heavy for the rails.
In early 2018, the DOTr tapped Germany-based consultancy firm TUV Rheinland to perform an audit on the 48 train coaches. In July, TUV Rheinland's audit indicated that the trains "can be “ready for use” with some repairs and technical adjustments.
As of August 9, MRT3 is running 15 trains with a passenger load of 600,000 every day, nearly twice the daily load limit of 350,000. The Dalian trains are part of the MRT3’s expansion project.
The blog ddsfilesfiles.xyz is similar to the dubious blogs Rappler has checked. It does not have an author, company profile, editorial board, and contact details. Its posts usually does not have a text explanation but only an embedded video from a pro-Duterte YouTube channel. — Miguel Imperial and Michael Bueza/Rappler.com
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