Works in 13 rail projects, including MRT-3, to resume despite Luzon-wide lockdown
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has allowed the Department of Transportation to resume the works for the 13 rail projects, including the repair of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3.
IATF Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the DOTr would undertake the works, particularly on the MRT-3 now that it is not operating due to the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, including Metro Manila, spurred by the coronavirus disease crisis.
"The IATF approves the request of the Department of Transportation to allow the resumption of utility relocation works and resume specified limited works across 13 rail projects, including rail replacement works for MRT-3, which can only be done when MRT-3 is not undergoing passenger operations," he said in a virtual press briefing on Tuesday.
In a Viber message, Assistant Transport Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran said the 13 projects are LRT-1 Cavite extension, LRT-2 East extension, LRT-2 West extension, LRT-2 fire restoration, MRT-3 rehabiliation, MRT-7, Metro Manila subway, Common Station. PNR Clark 1, PNR Clark 2 and Calamba,Subic-Clark Railway, PNR Bicol and Mindanao Railway.
But Nograles said the DOTr and other concerned agencies should observe limited mobilization of personnel and skeletal staffing pattern; provide of on- or near-site accommodations and/or point-to-point shuttle services where applicable; and conduct regular disinfection of workplaces, shuttles, and accommodations.
He said t regular monitoring of personnel's health, especially for COVID-19 symptoms, and strict social distancing measures and proper hand hygiene should be practiced; and all other precautionary measures that the DOTr may implement must also be observed at all times.
The government has suspended the operations of the railways in the country, including MRT-3, and ordered work stoppage in industries, which are not considered essentials, since March 17 when Duterte placed the whole of Luzon, including the National Capital Region, under lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Celerina Monte/DMS