The Department of Transportation (DOTr) mulls to return back to China the 48 unusable light rail vehicles (LRVs), worth P3.8 billion purchased during the Aquino administration, at no cost to the government.
Undersecretary for Rails Cesar Chavez have confirmed with at least four internationally-known third-party auditors that the 48 LRVs are not compatible with our Metro Rail Transit (MRT) system, as disclosed by GMA News during the Senate finance committee hearing on the proposed budget of DOTr for 2018.
The LRVs exceeded the technical weight specifications required and doesn’t have signaling systems, “What is required in the contract is 46,300 kilograms without passengers. Ang binigay, 49,700 kilograms. That’s three tons heavier than what is required in the contract,” Chavez explained.
Out of the 48 LRVs, only 29 have been installed with the required signaling system and of the 29, only four have been certified but can only be deployed with a technician every day.
“If we allow the four LRVs to be deployed, there should be a technician inside every day. In the morning operations, we should be listening to sounds.” Chavez further said.
Senator Grace Poe, chairman of the Senate public services committee, is firm that investigations should continue and someone should be held accountable for the grave negligence. The project was part of the MRT-3 capacity expansion project of former transport secretary Jun Abaya. Poe said, “We should take them into court. It is not a case of vendetta, but a case of justice for the public that’s been suffering.”
The DOTr’s proposed budget for 2018 has significantly increased by 33-percent from P55.7 billion this year to P73.84 billion.