President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the unveiling Thursday of the brand-new train sets for the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7), expecting the rail project to boost productivity in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces as a result of fast, efficient, and reliable transportation system.
Speaking during the unveiling rites held along Commonwealth Avenue in Diliman, Quezon City, President Duterte said the new train system will also help minimize air pollution, being a greener and more energy-efficient means of transportation.
“It will likewise contribute to a healthier and cleaner environment, thereby improving the livability of the nation’s capital,” he said.
“The arrival of the trains and the significant progress made on the MRT-7 project confirm this administration’s strong commitment to pursue critical infrastructure projects even amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The President expressed his gratitude to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), San Miguel Corp., as well as to other partners, for making the transportation milestone possible.
He also called on all government agencies to ensure the prompt implementation and completion of significant government projects, while still upholding transparency, integrity and accountability.
“Let us fulfill our promise and commitment to the entire nation to accomplish sustainable projects that will continuously improve the lives of Filipinos, even beyond the term of the President,” he stressed.
Once completed, the new Metro Rail Transit System, which spans more than 24 kilometers from North Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan, will reduce travel time to 35 minutes from two to three hours.
Already completed by more than 60 percent, the government targets to make the project partially operational by the fourth quarter of 2022.
Funded through a public and private partnership (PPP) with the San Miguel Corp. under build-transfer-operate arrangement, the project has a total cost of P77 billion with 25-year concession period.
At present, six train sets or 18 rail cars out of the 108 rail cars have been shipped. The entire MRT-7 system will have a total of 36 train sets or 108 rail cars.
The MRT-7 project forms part of the Duterte administration’s flagship “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure development program, which aims to ease traffic congestion and spur economic growth.
Meanwhile, the President said they are closely monitoring— through various government agencies—the movement of Typhoon Odette, which initially made landfall in Surigao del Norte.
“We have undertaken all the necessary precautions, prepositioned resources and closely coordinated with the localities to prepare for immediate emergency and relief response,” he said.
“Still, we must remain watchful and careful of the developments. Let us ensure that our people in areas on the path of the typhoon will be safe and well.” PND