MANILA (Mabuhay) — The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said on Monday it is now proceeding with the addition of 48 new Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) to the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) line which runs along Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA).
This was after the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) dismissed the injunction case filed by MRT Holdings II, Inc. last Feb. 21, the transport agency said.
“The DOTC successfully fought for public interest and defended its position in court, but the true winners are the riders of MRT-3. The supplier can now start manufacturing the 48 brand-new LRVs, which will be delivered in tranches starting in the second half of 2015,” said DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.
Abaya said the DOTC issued the Notice to Proceed to Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Company of China, which won the public bidding conducted last year upon the dismissal of the case
He said that under the terms of the contract, Dalian will have 18 months to deliver the prototype LRV for testing on the MRT-3 system. It should then deliver the remaining LRVs in tranches over the next 18 months.
The DOTC secretary said the transport agency secured Dalian’s commitment to expedite the manufacturing process by dedicating more workers to the project in a bid to deliver the prototype in around 12 months’ time and the remaining LRVs in monthly tranches over the succeeding 12-month period.
“Our commuters deserve better services at MRT-3, and the addition of more LRVs is long overdue. We are doing all we can to get them here as soon as possible, and Dalian has expressed the same commitment to the riding public,” Abaya added.
The Makati RTC cited Republic Act No. 8975 which states that only the Supreme Court can enjoin government infrastructure projects from proceeding. This shows the lack of merit in MRT Holdings II’s petition.
Moreover, MRT Holdings II stated last week that it filed this case knowing full well that the proper forum is an arbitration panel in Singapore. Another arbitration case involving the Equity Value Buy-Out (EVBO) of Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC) is already ongoing in Singapore.
“The DOTC and the Department of Finance should speed up the buy-out of MRTC, to free government from having to deal with the likes of those behind the case. They were clearly more than willing to file a baseless petition and delay the project at the expense of the public,” Abaya said.
The DOTC’s MRT-3 Capacity Expansion project will improve the current system’s three-car configuration arriving every three minutes to a four-car configuration arriving every 2.5 minutes to serve more passengers at a more efficient pace. (MNS)