DFA, Japanese Embassy sign deals for MRT-3 rehab

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 7) — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) signed a deal with the Embassy of Japan Wednesday for the rehabilitation of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) Wednesday.

The Exchange of Notes was signed by DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda, and witnessed by Transport Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan, along with officials from the DFA, Department of Finance, the Embassy of Japan and Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Under the deal, an ₱18-billion loan facility will be used to cover for investments in track replacement, train and power supply overhaul, among others. The signing of the loan agreement for the rehabilitation project will be on November 8.

Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will be taking over the maintenance and rehabilitation of the rail line.

In a statement, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the project will last 43 months, with the rehabilitation works to be completed in the first 26 months, and the general overhaul of the 72 light rail vehicles to be completed in the 43rd month.

Locsin said, "With the Exchange of Notes for the MRT-3 rehabilitation, we secure a better and safer commuting experience for our riding public. We shall see improvements, service efficiency, security and convenience."

Haneda said they were happy the country chose to partner with Japan to handle the problems concerning the MRT-3.

"I am delighted that the Philippine government chose Japan as its partner to tackle the problems of the MRT-3, and along with it, ease the traffic congestion along EDSA, one of the most important traffic lines in Metro Manila," he said.

The DOTr said, "The MRT-3 Rehabilitation Project involves the complete restoration of the MRT-3 back to its design capacity and reliability, covering among others the general overhaul of the MRT-3's entire fleet of 72 Light Rail Vehicles and day-to-day maintenance."