By Chino S. Leyco
Ernesto M. Pernia
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) has approved the planned P22-billion rehabilitation of the MRT-3.
In a statement, the NEDA said that the ICC-CabCom gave its greenlight to the project for MRT-3 aiming to restore the 18-year-old rail system that connects the north and south ends of Metro Manila.
The project, executed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), is part of the agency’s strategy for restoring, upgrading, and regularly maintaining the MRT 3 over the long term.
The rehabilitation will increase the number of trainsets in operation from 15 to 18 trainsets per hour, increase the maximum speed to 60 kilometers per hour, and decrease headway to 200 seconds.
“With the upcoming rehabilitation of the MRT-3, we expect improvements in service efficiency and security of the existing train line,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said.
“Over the long term, we envision the MRT to be a very convenient and efficient mode of transportation that will encourage car owners to shift to public transportation, thereby reducing traffic congestion in Metro Manila,” he added.
The MRT 3 rehabilitation project will have a total cost of P22.06 billion and will be funded through a loan from the government of Japan.
It is set to start implementation in the third quarter of 2018 and be completed in the first quarter of 2021.
Meanwhile, the ICC-CabCom also approved the request of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) to cancel the EURO28.52 million French Treasury loan for the Integrated Marine Environment Monitoring System-Phase 2 (PHILO II), to enable DA-BFAR to implement the project using local funds.
Among others, PHILO II aims to integrate various databases including fishing vessel registry, ocean and weather data, stock assessment data, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing records.
Thursday’s cabinet-level ICC meeting was held at the Department of Finance.
It was co-chaired by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and Pernia.