Duterte unveils MRT-7 train sets, calls rail system 'world-class'

A world-class mode of transportation.

President Rodrigo Duterte (second from left) sees the new MRT-7 train sets up close for the first time during their unveiling at Tandang Sora station on Dec. 15, 2021. (Screenshot from Facebook live)

That's how President Duterte described the Metro Rail Transit (MRT)-7, the new train sets of which were unveiled Thursday afternoon, Dec. 16.

"We can proudly say that this new Metro Rail Transit System, which spans more than 24 kilometers 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," Duterte said in his speech.

(Screenshot from Facebook live)

The Chief Executive served as guest of honor during the unveiling, which took place at MRT-7's Tandang Sora station along Commonwealth Avenue in Diliman, Quezon City.

A major infrastructure project under the administration’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program featuring the partnership of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and San Miguel Corporation (SMC), the MRT-7 is a 24.7-kilometer, rail and road project that starts from North Avenue in Quezon City and ends in the City of San Jose del Monte in Bulacan.

It currently has a progress rate of 62.81 percent.

"The project is more than 60 percent complete and we are committed to make it partially operational by the fourth quarter of 2022," Duterte said.

"With a total cost of 77 billion pesos, the MRT-7 was funded through a Public and Private Partnership with the San Miguel Corporation under a Build-Transfer-Operate Arrangement, with a concession period of 25 years," he noted.

The 108 rail cars or 36 train sets acquired from South Korea will traverse the 14 stations of the new railway system. 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 arrival of the trains and the significant progress made on the MRT-7 project confirm this administration’s strong commitment to pursue critical infrastructure projects even the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Thus, I enjoin all government agencies to ensure the prompt implementation and completion of significant government projects, while still upholding transparency, integrity and accountability in the --- in each operation," Duterte said.

(Screenshot from Facebook live)

He said that, once operational, the MRT-7 "will provide the public with a fast, efficient, convenient, safe and reliable transportation system that would result in the increased productivity of workers and businesses in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces".

"I wish to thank the hardworking people of the Department of Transportation and of San Miguel Corporation, as well as other partners, for making this milestone possible," the President said.

After delivering his speech, Duterte led an inspection of the new trains on site and had a little fun with them while he was at it.