Construction for MRT-4 project to begin in 2021 – DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   January 2, 2020   •   1298

MANILA, Philippines – The construction for the 15.56-kilometer Metro Rail Transit (MRT)line 4, which will link parts of Metro Manila and the province of Rizal, will begin next year, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.

This is after the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) approved the project during its meeting on December 20, 2019, the DOTr said in a statement on Tuesday.

The P59.3-billion MRT-4 project will run from Cainta, Rizal to Mandaluyong City. It will traverse Quezon City, San Juan, Pasig, Mandaluyong and the Ortigas Center, and link the eastern Metro Manila with the neighboring municipalities of Cainta and Taytay in Rizal.

“Considering how densely-populated these areas are, which is made more difficult with the lack of road capacities and ever worsening traffic conditions, MRT-4 will be of great help in moving commuters between eastern Metro Manila and Rizal,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

The line system will serve 11 stations with an initial daily ridership projected at 234,433 passengers, the DOTr said.

The construction of the line will be funded by an official development assistance package from the Asian Development Bank.

It is expected to start operation in 2025.

Infastructure Cluster Chairman and Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar meanwhile said the approval by the ICC-CabCom of the MRT-4 project and other key transport and infrastructure projects, will assure their completion within the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“After passing the ICC-CabCom, we’ll be able to release the projects by early next year, allowing us time within the Duterte administration to significantly complete these game-changing projects. It’s crucial that we start these projects—we’ll be working on the procurement, that’s why we fast-tracked all these projects before the end of the year so that next year, we can focus purely on the detailed engineering and procurement of these big-ticket projects,” Villar said.

The department also revealed that NEDA has approved some unsolicited proposals during the December 20 meeting, including those for the Davao International Airport, Laguindingan Airport, the EDSA Greenways Project and the Maritime Safety Enhancement Program.

DOTr unveils tunnel boring machines for construction of Metro Manila Subway

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Monday presented to the public the major parts of tunnel boring machines (TMB) for the construction of the Metro Manila Subway Project.

During an event held in Pasay City, the DOTr made a presentation showcasing the assembly timeline and how these machines will help accelerate the construction of the Metro Manila Subway.

The tunnel boring machines were unveiled together with representatives of the Japanese contractor, Shimizu Corporation, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

“The Boring Machine is manufactured per specific designs. This is designed to what they found on the soil that is to be bored. Hindi ‘to ‘yung pupunta ka lang sa hardware at bibili ng dalawang boring machine. Hindi ho ganun ‘yan. That’s why it takes a little bit of time. But the moment it comes and it is assembled, the boring becomes fast and more efficient,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade told reporters during a briefing.

The major parts of a TBM which were unveiled include the shield jack, cutter reduction gear motor, main bearings, and articulation jack.

The DOTr said TBMs are integral in building the subway as these are used to dig underground and lay the tunnels. These machines can excavate through a variety of ground conditions, from hard rock to sand.

Transportation Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said around six tunnel boring machines will be used for the construction of the partial operability phase, or the first three stations of the Metro Manila Subway.

“Parte po ito ng tinatawag nating tunnel boring machine na siyang maghuhukay ng mga tunnels natin para sa Metro Manila Subway project natin. ‘Yung una nating tunneling na gagamit ng tunnel boring machine ay mag-uumpisa galing sa depot natin sa Ugong, Valenzuela patungong Quirino Highway Station,” Batan said.  

The first tunnel boring machine is expected to be delivered in August of this year, about four months ahead of schedule.

Batan said that after the machine’s delivery in August, the tunneling will begin from the East Valenzuela Station in Barangay Ugong in Valenzuela City towards Quirino Highway Station.

The Metro Manila Subway will have 15 stations from Ugong, Valenzuela, all the way to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.

The DOTr said it is eyeing the subway to become partially operational by 2021. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

PNR rolls out 2 new trains for Tutuban-Alabang route

Robie de Guzman   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Railways (PNR) on Thursday deployed its two new trains to operate in Tutuban-Alabang route after its send-off ceremony and class assignment.

According to PNR general manager Junn Magno, the new trainsets which are part of the 8100 series of Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) consist of four cars each and can carry up to 1,000 passengers per trip.

The train sets, which were acquired from Indonesian company PT Inka, are equipped with closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, air conditioning units, and handrails for increased passenger capacity and safety.

The trains also feature poly-carbonate windows capable of withstanding moderate damage caused by thrown rocks, and automatic safety doors equipped with a sensory feature that will easily open should someone or something is caught in between.

With the new trains, the Tutuban-Alabang route will now have a total of five trains.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, meanwhile, assured that PNR fare rates will not increase despite the deployment of new trainsets.

He also called on the public to be alert and immediately report any stone-throwing incident targeting PNR train units.

“Gusto nating manatiling matagal ang paggamit ng ating mga tren kailangan yung kooperasyon ng lahat gamitin ng tama huwag gumawa ng perwisyo, wag maging pasaway,” he said.

Magno said these train sets are part of the 37 railcars and three locomotives procured by the PNR which are expected to be completely delivered in the coming months.

“Hahabulin po natin na by the end of 2020, we should have enough capacity to serve the southern and part of the northern. Bubuksan na rin po natin yung Valenzuela line para ma-off load rin natin ang EDSA,” he said.

The PNR earlier deployed two other new trains to operate in Tutuban-FTI route in Taguig.

Once the delivery of new train sets is completed, PNR’s current 20,000 passenger capacity is expected to increase to 92,000, inching closer to its target of 200,000 daily passengers in the region. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Duterte inaugurates Sangley Airport in Cavite

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 17, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte inaugurated the Sangley Airport in Cavite on Saturday (February 15) which aims to ease the air traffic congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The Sangley Airport Development Project is under the Duterte Administration’s Build Build Build Program. Small commercial flights and light cargo aircraft are already operational since Saturday.

In his speech, President Duterte commended Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade for successfully completing the development project.

The President also said he will use Sangley Airport when he goes back to Davao after finishing his term.

“I will take my last flight as President to Davao. I will use this airport,” he said.

Once the project is completed, Sangley Airport will have four operational runways and a terminal which can accommodate 100 million passengers every year.—AAC (with reports from Benedict Samson)

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