Thursday 21 September
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Grace Poe tells Tugade to conduct independent audit of China-made trains


Senator Grace Poe has pressed for an “independent audit” of the China-made trains that have remained idle due to incompatibility with existing facilities.

Poe made the call during the Senate hearing on the proposed P75.6 billion budget of the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) for 2018.

Poe urged Transportation Secretary Art Tugade to hire an independent auditor which has “no political affiliations” to check whether the 48 coaches supplied by Chinese firm Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co. Ltd. were “safe” and could be deployed in the decaying EDSA MRT-3.

In case the government returned the light rail vehicles to China, Poe said “the Philippine government will not be faulted without legitimate reasons behind it.”

MRT-3 rails can carry a maximum of 48,000 kilograms, but the Dalian trains weigh heavier at 49,000 kgs per coach and this could put additional stress on the railway system.

“Parang nagpipilit kang magsuot ng sapatos na size 5 pero size 7 ang paa mo,” said Poe.

DOTr Undersecretary for Rails Cesar Chavez said other governments have returned defective trains to Dalian, citing Singapore and Malaysia.

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