By Rosalie C. Periabras | The Manila Times | September 10, 2015
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the MRT-3 project team are heading for Dalian in China next week to meet with the German suppliers of traction systems, gearboxes, and brake systems.
“As we announced last June, static testing will be conducted from September to October. Meanwhile, dynamic testing was scheduled from November to December, when these parts will be delivered from Germany,” DOTC Secretary Emilio Joseph Abaya.
“To fast-track the whole process, we met with officials from the German Embassy, Voith, and Knorr-Bremse a few weeks back regarding delivery schedules. Next week, our team will discuss the details with these suppliers, so we can explore ways to provide more trains to the public earlier than scheduled,” Abaya explained.
Voith will manufacture the traction systems and gearboxes for the 48 brand new coaches of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), while Knorr-Bremse is in charge of the brake systems. Both firms are major industry players.
The DOTC is targeting to award the P4.25-billion contract for a three-year maintenance provider in the fourth quarter of the year and take over by January 2016 the respective works given to seven multi-discipline contractors currently maintaining the rail line.
The long-term maintenance provider will not only undertake the regular maintenance of the system over the next three years, it will also conduct the general overhaul of existing MRT-3 coaches and replace the signaling system.
The general overhaul is needed to improve the condition of the 16-year old coaches, and replacing the signaling system will ensure safer operations for the line.
The emergency mode of negotiated procurement for the maintenance provider was approved by the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) as an urgent need to address core problems of obsolescence and wear-and-tear.
The government also stepped in to perform improvement works on the privately-owned MRT-3 system.
The DOTC has already procured over 7,000 linear meters of new rails which will be used to replace worn-out tracks starting in the fourth quarter of the year. The rehabilitation of escalators and elevators, and the refurbishment of toilet facilities, are presently ongoing.