Japan to provide aid for MRT-3 rehab, maintenance

By Aerol John Pateña

January 10, 2018, 9:47 am

MANILA -- Japan has committed to provide financial assistance for the rehabilitation and maintenance of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3).

This follows the exchange of note verbales between the Philippines and Japan which involves obtaining Official Development Assistance (ODA) financing under Japan International Cooperation  Agency’s (JICA) Special Terms for Economic Partnership.

“These developments show that we are wasting no time and effort in rehabilitating and restoring the reliability and capacity of MRT-3. This year, we will make significant improvements to MRT-3 and that is our commitment to the Filipino commuters,” Department of Transportation (DOTr) OIC Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said in a statement Tuesday.

JICA will conduct its feasibility study in January to February to assess what needs to be fixed in the MRT system.

Once this is completed, the signing of the loan agreement and procurement of the rehabilitation and maintenance provider will follow in March to April with the mobilization of the Japanese provider expected within the second quarter of this year.

Japan assured that it will nominate a provider that is highly qualified and has a strong and reliable track record.

The DOTr terminated last November its contract with Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI) as the MRT-3’s maintenance provider citing its failure to perform its maintenance obligations and procure spare parts.

The Japan ODA for the MRT-3 Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project is part of the DOTr’s strategies to improve the operations of the railway system which involves promoting accountability with the termination of BURI; ensuring continued service delivery by establishing the Maintenance Transition Team (MTT) and purchasing needed spare parts; contracting a rehabilitation and maintenance service provider together with an ODA partner and putting in place a long term maintenance and operator provider for MRT 3.  (PNA)