The Transportation Department said the operation of MRT-3 will resume on Monday on a limited capacity after the line’s management was able to assemble a sufficient number of employees who are free of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
As of July 11, 1,093 MRT-3 depot personnel and 1,010 station personnel have tested negative for COVID-19, exceeding the 1,308 number of personnel required to resume train operations on a limited number of train sets.
To recall, a total of 281 personnel have contracted COVID-19. Infected were MRT-3 depot and station personnel and employees of maintenance provider Sumitomo-MHI-TESP and its subcontractors, and other MRT-3 service providers.
Those infected have now been isolated in government quarantine facilities in the World Trade Center, the Philippine Arena, and at the PhilSports Arena.
On Monday, the MRT-3 will be dispatching 12 train sets, which will include 10 CKD train sets and 2 Dalian train sets.. The first train set will be dispatched at 5:30 AM from the North Avenue station to the Taft Avenue station.
In addition, contact tracing will strictly be implemented with passengers to fill-up health declaration forms before boarding riding the train.
It will be recalled that a temporary shutdown of the line’s operation was implemented starting July 6, to allow the RT-PCR (swabbing) test of all MRT-3 personnel, including those of its maintenance provider and subcontractors. This is to prevent the further spread of the disease, and, most importantly, to protect the health and safety of both its personnel and commuters.
During the temporary shutdown, thorough disinfection of all MRT-3 facilities was conducted, including its depot, stations, and trains.
Pursuant to the guidance of Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), all depot and station personnel are required to wear full personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks, face shields, gowns and gloves, in order to intensify the protection being given to MRT-3 commuters and employees.
The MRT-3 also ramped up its health and safety measures by implementing the ‘5-minute disinfection hustle’ on its trains every half loop (at the end stations at the North Ave. Station and Taft Station).
Personnel health check and monitoring is also observed, wherein employees are required to submit health declaration forms twice a day.
Meanwhile, the MRT-3 Bus Augmentation Program will continue to deploy 90 buses with a 3-minute fixed dispatching interval. It will however return to normal operating hours, with the first bus departing at 5:30 AM and the last bus at 8:00 PM from both the North Avenue and Taft Avenue stations.
In addition, 190 buses are being deployed under the EDSA Busway Service to carry passengers between Monumento and the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITx). A mini loop will also run between Timog Avenue. and Ortigas to serve passengers. Shuttle services / mini buses running in the mini loop will be allowed to pick up and drop off passengers at the curbside.