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DOTC, German firms tackle fast-tracking of MRT-3 prototype

MANILA, Philippines – Project Team Aims to Move Up Delivery of Traction Systems, Gearboxes, Brake Systems
In their bid to expedite the testing of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) prototype, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and MRT-3 project team will head to Dalian next week to meet with the German suppliers of traction systems, gearboxes, and brake systems.
“As we announced last June, static testing will be conducted from September to October. Meanwhile, dynamic testing was scheduled from November to December, when these parts will be delivered from Germany,” said DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya.
“To fast-track the whole process, we met with officials from the German Embassy, Voith, and Knorr-Bremse a few weeks back regarding delivery schedules. Next week, our team will discuss the details with these suppliers, so we can explore ways to provide more trains to the public earlier than scheduled,” he explained.
Voith will manufacture the traction systems and gearboxes for the 48 brand new coaches of the MRT-3 line, while Knorr-Bremse is in charge of the brake systems. Both firms are established suppliers in the global rail industry.
The DOTC is targeting to award the P 4.25-Billion contract for a 3-year total maintenance provider (TMP) within the 4th quarter this year, to enable the latter to take over from the seven (7) multi-discipline contractors currently maintaining the rail line, by January 2016.
This long-term maintenance provider will not only undertake the regular maintenance requirements of the system over the next three years, it will also conduct the general overhaul of existing MRT-3 coaches, as well as the replacement of the signaling system.
The general overhaul is needed in order to improve the condition of the 16-year old coaches, and the signaling system replacement will ensure safer operations throughout the line.
The emergency mode of negotiated procurement for the TMP was approved by the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) due to the urgent need to address core problems of obsolescence and complete wear-and-tear.
Similar to these efforts, government has also stepped in to perform improvement works on the privately-owned MRT-3 system. The DOTC has already procured over 7,000 linear meters’ worth of new rails, which will be used to replace worn-out tracks starting in Q4 this year. Meanwhile, the rehabilitation of escalators and elevators, as well as the refurbishment of toilet facilities, are presently ongoing.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.