23 April 2021, Manila, PHILIPPINES – Sharing their knowledge in commercial business management and expertise in technical operations and development, respectively, the Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) and the Department of Science and Technology – Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC) have entered into a new partnership to create a more efficient rail system that would make mobility and transportation better for Filipinos.
In a memorandum of understanding signed by both parties on 21 April 2021 in a virtual signing ceremony, LRMC and DOST-MIRDC have agreed to perform specific functions to achieve a common goal of sustaining the improvements in the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) system.
As the current private operator of LRT-1, LRMC is seeking the expertise of the DOST-MIRDC in conducting structural repairs of specific light rail vehicles (LRVs), as well as the local re-engineering and/or fabrication of spare parts that are already obsolete and/or difficult to source. Being the government agency tasked to foster the advancement of metals, engineering, and allied industries in the Philippines, the DOST-MIRDC is equipped with a wide range of capabilities that may be of further assistance to the LRMC in achieving more sustainable operations of the LRT-1.
“LRT-1 is a valuable mode of transportation for Filipinos in Metro Manila. We believe that with the expertise of our partners at DOST-MIRDC, we can continue enhancing the LRT-1 system to achieve our vision of becoming the commuter’s choice in transportation. Innovation and commitment to excellence are two of our company’s core values that allowed our management to implement best practices in public transport. Through this partnership, we hope to bring to the table our management expertise, as well as promote Filipino ingenuity by banking on the competence of our local talents,” says Enrico R. Benipayo, LRMC Chief Operating Officer.
LRMC’s partnership with DOST-MIRDC will bring the company to a new level of understanding in terms of various diagnostics equipment and technology that are not normally acquired by railway operators. It will provide the advantage of having an extended railway laboratory similar to other countries.
“Over the past few years that the LRMC has been taking charge over the LRT-1, we noticed the determination and commitment to improve the rail system and make everything efficient and convenient, especially for the Filipino commuting public. We appreciate the LRMC for trusting and believing in the capabilities and expertise of the DOST-MIRDC. We are proud to be part of the LRMC’s initiative to make public transportation more efficient. An improved rail system will not only benefit the commuting public; it will open doors of opportunities for various industries. This partnership is also a practical way for us to bring the benefits of science, technology, and innovation to the local metals, engineering, and allied industries,’ says DOST-MIRDC’s Executive Director, Engr. Robert O. Dizon.
LRMC is a joint venture company of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation’s Metro Pacific Light Rail Corporation (MPLRC), Ayala Corporation’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation (AC Infra), and the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure’s Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) PTE Ltd. (MIHPL). It assumed operations and maintenance of LRT-1 in September 2015 through a PHP 65-billion 32-year concession agreement with the Department of Transportation and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA). LRT-1 has ISO certifications for Quality & Environmental Management Systems (ISO 9001 and ISO 14001).