After nearly two decades and three administrations, Filipinos from the southern Greater Capital Region (GCR) can now move on with hope and optimism as the LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension Project officially began actual construction works today, 07 May 2019, in Barangay San Dionisio, Parañaque City.

The LRT-1 Cavite Extension, a major railway project under the “Build, Build, Build” Program of the Duterte administration, will extend rail services from its last station in Baclaran up to Niog in Bacoor, Cavite, bringing the total length of the rail line to 32.4 kilometers.

The 11.7-km extension will cut travel time between Baclaran and Bacoor from 1 hour and 10 minutes down to just 25 minutes.

With eight (8) additional stations, the total number of LRT-1 stations will increase from 20 to 28. Integrated in these new stations are three intermodal road-rail facilities to ease transfer from the LRT-1 to road-based vehicles, and vice versa.

Once fully operational, the entire line of LRT-1 is expected to accommodate 800,000 passengers daily, nearly double its current average ridership of 458,000 passengers daily.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade led today’s ceremony, together with Minister for Economic Affairs of the Embassy of Japan to the Philippines Makoto Iyori, Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Embassy of Spain Pedro Pascual Fernandez, Economic Counselor of the Embassy of France Laurent Estrade, Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Administrator Reynaldo Berroya, and Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) President and CEO Juan Felipe Alfonso.

“We went into the hurt and pain of reviving this project. We will not have second thoughts on any additional hurt and pain in completing and finishing this project. Today, as we celebrate this moment and this project, let me just say: we will move and finish the project to make sure the Filipino people will have a comfortable life. Believe us, we will do our job,” Secretary Tugade expressed.

For his part, LRTA Administrator Berroya expressed his gratitude to stakeholders who worked tirelessly for the realization of the project.

“I would like to congratulate everyone who have worked hard to make this occasion possible. Certainly, this is not the end, but the beginning of harder tasks ahead,” Administrator Berroya stated.

Meanwhile, LRMC President Alfonso emphasized the importance of a strong partnership between the public and private sectors to improve the quality of life of Filipinos.

“Today is a partnership story. A partnership between LRMC, its Grantors - the DOTr, and LRTA. It’s also a partnership between the government, its BUILD BUILD BUILD program, and the Filipino people. We want to create solutions that will improve the lives of the Filipino people,” LRMC President Alfonso said.

To formalize the start of construction works for the LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project, a mock-up 4th Generation Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) was unveiled during the ceremony.

Secretary Tugade cited that after a long time, the LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project is now moving forward, with partial operations for the first five (5) stations eyed by the last quarter of 2021.

“May nagsabi dati na kapag hindi natapos ang LRT-1 Cavite Extension, magpapasagasa raw siya sa tren. Ngayon, nandito tayo para simulan ang isang proyektong riles, hindi para pasagasaan ang ilang tao sa tren. Gagawin natin ang proyektong ito para magamit at masakyan ng 800,000 pasahero,” Secretary Tugade said.

Right of Way “free and clear”

DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said the project took a long time before finally taking off.

The NEDA Investment Coordination Committee approved the project on 25 August 2000. Over a year later, on 22 January 2002, the NEDA Board approved the Implementing Agreement for the LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project. Additionally, back in 2007, Congress already gave the first budget for the Right of Way Acquisition (ROWA).

However, pre-construction activities only began during the Duterte administration, following the groundbreaking ceremony in May 2017. Chief among matters for resolution then was the ROWA.

When the current administration took over in July 2016, the ROWA was certified to be 0% “free and clear” by an Independent Consultant (IC), a joint venture of Egis Rail of France and Getinsa Ingeniera and Heldig Teknik of Spain.

Through the collective effort of DOTr and LRTA, over 90% of the ROW for Package 1 has now been certified “free and clear” by the IC, allowing commencement of construction of the eight new stations and the viaducts.

Extended line, expanded operations

With the rail line extension comes the expansion of operations. These include increasing the number of LRVs plying the tracks, as well as expanding depot operations.

Usec. Batan said these two project components, funded by an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan from the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), are now ready.

The acquisition contract for 120 Rolling Stock 4th Generation LRVs was awarded to Mitsubishi Corporation, with its technical partner, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) of Spain. The mock-up LRV was delivered on 12 January 2019, with the delivery of train sets scheduled in tranches from July 2020 to 2022.

Also, in February this year, the contract for the expansion of the existing Baclaran Depot and the construction of a new satellite depot in Zapote, Las Piñas was signed. Once completed, both depots will increase the LRT-1’s stabling and maintenance capacity from 145 LRVs to 269 LRVs.

Meanwhile, the LRMC will spearhead the construction of the intermodal road-rail facilities in three of the new LRT-1 stations, together with French partners RATP Alstom and Bouygues Construction.

Utility relocation

On the sidelines of the start of works ceremonies today, the DOTr and the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the relocation of electrical facilities for the LRT-1 Cavite extension and other railway projects such as the Common Station, MRT-7, North-South Commuter Railway System, and PNR Bicol.

Secretary Tugade signed the MOA on behalf of DOTr, while Senior Vice President and Head of Customer Retail Services and Corporate Communications Alfredo Panlilio and Senior Vice President and Head of Networks Ronnie Aperocho penned for Meralco.

PHL-Japan partnership

Meanwhile, the Government of Japan expressed commitment to aid in the completion of the project in its continued support of the Philippine government’s “Build, Build, Build” Program.

“I’m truly proud to have this opportunity for Japan to assist the Philippines once again by integrating Metro Manila and other regions as one. This project will not only ease the plight of commuters in the south but will also give way to the development of the region,” Minister Iyori said.

Other officials present in today’s event were Senator Cynthia Villar, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, JICA Chief Representative Yoshio Wada, Parañaque City 1st District Rep. Eric Olivarez, Parañaque City 2nd District Rep. Gustavo Tambunting, Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez, Las Piñas City Mayor Imelda Aguilar, First Pacific Company Ltd. CEO and Managing Director Manuel V. Pangilinan, Meralco President and CEO Oscar Reyes, and other government and private sector officials.

Mag-post ng isang Komento

0 Mga Komento