NEW TRAIN SETS FOR MRT-7. President Rodrigo R. Duterte delivers his speech during the unveiling of brand-new train sets for the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) along Commonwealth Avenue in Diliman, Quezon City on Thursday (Dec. 16, 2021).  Duterte said the national government will ensure that the MRT-7 will be “partially operational” by the fourth quarter of 2022. (Presidential photo by Alberto Alcain)

MANILA – The national government will ensure that the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) will be “partially operational” by the fourth quarter of 2022, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday.

Duterte made this remark during a ceremony to unveil the new MRT-7 train sets along Commonwealth Avenue in Diliman, Quezon City.

“We can proudly say that this new metric rail transit system which spans more than 24 km from North Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan is a world-class mode of transportation for the benefit of the people. The project is more than 60 percent complete and we are committed to make it partially operational by [the] 4th quarter of 2022,” he said in his speech.

He noted that the MRT project will provide the public with a “fast, efficient, convenient, safe, and reliable” transportation system that would result to the increased productivity of workers and businesses in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces.

Duterte said he is also pleased that the MRT-7 is expected to be a pollution-free mode of mass transit for commuters.

“It is also good to know that this new train system will help minimize air pollution as it is a greener and more energy efficient means of transportation,” he added.

He said the MRT-7 project is proof of his administration’s commitment to delivering long-lasting infrastructure development in the country amid the prevailing health crisis.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte inspects the brand-new trains for Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) after leading the unveiling ceremony at the MRT-7 tracks along Commonwealth Avenue in Diliman, Quezon City on Dec. 16, 2021. (Presidential photo by Arman Baylon)

"The arrival of the trains and the significant progress made on MRT-7 project confirm this administration’s strong commitment to pursue critical infrastructure projects even amidst the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

Meanwhile, Duterte enjoined all government agencies to ensure the prompt implementation and completion of significant government projects while still upholding the transparency, integrity, and accountability in its operation.

“Let us fulfil our promise and commitment to the entire nation to accomplish sustainable projects that will continuously improve the lives of Filipinos even beyond the term of the president,” he said.

He also thanked workers of the officials and workers of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), San Miguel Corp. (SMC), and other partners for their role in making a new milestone possible.

The SMC is the concession-holder for the project and is fully-funding construction of the 24-kilometer mass transit system that links up with the existing MRT-3 and Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) via a common station in North Avenue.

(Presidential photo)

The MRT 7 is a PHP77-billion project that started construction in April 2016. Currently, the project stands at 62 percent overall progress rate.

A total number of 108 rail cars or 36 train sets were acquired from South Korea that will traverse 14 stations.

It is expected to serve around 300,000 passengers in its first year of operations and will reach up to 850,000 passengers daily on its 12th year.

The MRT-7 is a modern train system that also involves the construction of electric power systems, computer and communications system, signaling systems, and automatic fare systems, among others.

Once completed, the MRT-7 will significantly cut travel time between North Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan from two to three hours to just 35 minutes and will eventually contribute to the reduction of traffic in Metro Manila.

The project also aims to decongest Metro Manila and make the commuting experience of passengers coming in and out of the Metro more convenient and comfortable. (PNA)