PPP: DBM releases P1.21-B for MRT rehab

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P1.21 billion to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) for the rehabilitation and capacity extension of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3). 

Aside from the upgrade, the budget will also cover the replacement of the existing signaling system and the repair of the escalators and elevators of the MRT-3 stations.

In a statement, DBM Secretary Butch Abad said: “The rehabilitation of the MRT-3 has been a long-time coming, especially in the wake of past challenges faced by MRT commuters. But the release of funds to rehabilitate the MRT-3 will go a long way in improving not only the capacity of the mass transit system, but the overall user experience.”

According to Sec. Abad, the rehabilitation promises better transport services to the public as it alleviates concerns over safety and security and ease the traffic situation in the metro. 

Last month, the DOTC awarded the MRT capacity expansion project to CNR Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co. of China for the acquisition of 48 brand new light rail vehicles. 

Meant to address the long queues at the poorly-maintained MRT station, the expansion is expected to boost passenger capacity by two-thirds to 800,000 a day from the current 350,000.

According to the DOTC, a total of 11 projects worth about P10 billion are being undertaken to improve the 16.9-kilometer mass transit system, including the rehabilitation of comfort rooms.

The P1.2 billion budget for the project is part of the P22.47-billion supplemental budget approved last December.