MANILA — Malacanang on Tuesday assured the public that the government will start implementing next month the maintenance and improvement projects to enhance the services of the Mass Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems even if a temporary restraining order (TRO) to halt the fare hike is granted.
“Yung implementation po nito (projects) karamihan ay nakatakda sa February 2015. Sa katunayan, nag-umpisa na rin ‘yung proseso ng procurement ng mga serbisyong patungkol dito (Most of the projects are scheduled to be implemented on February 2015. In fact, the process of procuring services in relation to these projects have already started),” said Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. in a Palace press briefing.
Coloma said project awarding and publication procedures follow the public bidding.
The PCOO chief said the most important among these improvement projects is the MRT capacity expansion.
“Simula sa Setyembre ng taong ito madagdagan ng 48 coaches o bagon ang MRT. Pagkatapos makumpleto nito, dadami ang biyahe at iikli ang panahon ng paghihintay. Binibigyan din ng prayoridad ang rail installation o pagpapalit ng riles (Starting September this year, 48 coaches will be added to MRT. Once this is completed, there will be more trips and the waiting time will also be lessened. Rail installation will also be prioritized),” he said.
Coloma said other projects include the upgrade of ancillary systems like power substations, depot facilities for parking, construction of North Avenue turn-back and Taft Avenue pocket track extension, upgrade of signalling system, overhauling of 25 light rail vehicles and traction motors, and installation of new radio communications system.
He noted that funds and resources have been already earmarked for the projects.
“Hindi naman ‘yon maaapektuhan ‘nung kung magkakaroon man ng (It will not be affected should there be any) legal action that will [stall] the implementation or reverse the implementation of the fare adjustments,” Coloma said.
“Kaya nga mahalaga na mabatid, maunawaan at malaman ng ating mga mamamayan na ang pinakamahalaga pa rin para sa pamahalaan ay ‘yung paghahatid ng mas komportable at mahusay na serbisyo (That’s why it is important that people know and understand that providing comfortable and excellent service is the government’s utmost concern),” he added.
Militant groups have petitioned the Supreme Court for a TRO on the implementation of LRT and MRT fare increase.