The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) announced this week that the resumption of the MRT rehabilitation project has been approved, provided that certain guidelines are complied with. “The IATF approves the request of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to allow the resumption of utility, relocation works, and resume specified limited works across 13 rail projects including rail replacement works for MRT-3,” said Cabinet secretary Karlo Nograles in a press briefing yesterday.
Some reports surfaced after the said briefing, however, stating that the DOTr had submitted to the Department of Budget and Management a list of projects that can be axed to free up public funds to be used for the COVID-19 response. Included on this list is the aforementioned MRT rehab.
There are other major infrastructure projects on the list, such as the North-South Commuter Railway system and the PUV Modernization Program. You may recall that these projects have already started the necessary preparations and even construction or deployment in the last year alone.
In light of this, the DOTr has recently released a statement saying that the reports were “misleading,” and that the agency will only reallocate a portion of its projects’ budgets to the COVID-19 response fund.
“In the specific case of the MRT-3 rehab, what we did was determine that we can set aside about P1.1 billion out of its P17 billion total project cost, which will form part of the P11.1 billion funding that we have collated from various projects in our aviation, maritime, railways and road sectors,” part of the statement reads. You can view the entire statement below:
We hope this clears things up. In any case, you can proceed to checking out our other stories and updates on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis here.