MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has sent letters to four international certifiers to examine the construction of 48 new train coaches for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) bought by the Philippines from China.
DOTr Undersecretary for Rails, Cesar Chavez said the international third party will examine the 48 Dalian trains to determine its safety for passenger use.
The process will take three months. Once the international third party finds the coaches not compatible to the signaling system of the current trains used in the MRT, the DOTr will opt to return the coaches to China.
“If they say these are not operationally reliable, we will return it to China without spending any amount. Our option is to return these to China and have them fix it,” Chavez said.
Aside from the signaling system, there are also problems on the wheels of the new trains as these are bigger than the size of the rails of MRT.
The 48 Dalian trains are worth P3.8-billion.
The Philippines has already paid an amount of P800-million to the Chinese government.
The DOTr said the Philippine government will not ask for a refund of the amount, but instead it will ask the Chinese to repair the trains so it could still be used in the MRT.
The trains arrived in the Philippines in 2015.
However, after 2 years, the trains remain unusable for the millions of passengers of MRT.
On Wednesday, MRT operations encountered glitches six times, injuring two passengers when the train suddenly stopped.
In the Senate hearing on the proposed 2018 budget of the DOTr, Senator Grace Poe said officials involved in the purchase of the trains should be held liable in court.
The DOTr plans to return the Dalian trains to China before the end of the year. – Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue
Robots fly, dance, and make cocktails at China’s World Robot Conference
Robots on display in China | Reuters
China’s third annual World Robot Conference kicked off in Beijing on Wednesday (August 15), with robotic flying, dancing, and cocktail-making all on display.
German automation firm Festo showcased its bio-inspired semi-autonomous robotic bat. The robot flies on a fixed track using a motion-tracking camera. Images and flight patterns are fed into a central computer, where a virtual counterpart can improve the robot’s flight plans.
One of the most eye-catching exhibits was a bartending robot with automated arms that can handle all the shaking, stirring, muddling and garnishing necessary to make up a cocktail in just one minute. The robot, developed by a group from the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin, will cost around US$300,000 once available.
Another popular highlight at the conference is a life-size replica of former Chinese NBA basketball star Yao Ming, which entertains visitors by shooting hoops.
China is still one of the largest markets for industrial robots with a growing demand for various kinds of products.
The World Robot Conference runs from August 15 to 19, with over 300 experts and entrepreneurs participating to showcase their works. — Reuters
Violent tornado touches down in north China, ravaging villages
Amateur footage of Tornado | Reuters
A rare tornado touched down in Jinghai District of north China’s Tianjin Municipality Monday afternoon, snapping utility poles in half and causing damage to local residences.
The tornado was formed at around 17:30 and barreled through swathes of crop fields and several villages.
Videos taken by local residents showed the sizable tornado from a distance and the glass roof shaking while the fierce wind carrying debris across.
Fortunately, no one was severely injured except a man in Xiwuli Village who was slightly bruised, according to the emergency response team.
Xiwuli village was one of the most affected areas with a utility pole snapping in half then hitting a car. A cottage was flattened while damage to varying degrees has also been caused to some orchards.
The clear-up work and repairs to the broken power facilities are currently underway. — Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit PH in November
FILE PHOTO: (Left-Right) Philippine Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and China Pres. Xi Jinping (PCOO)
MANILA, Philippines — Chinese President Xi Jinping’s expected visit to the Philippines by year-end is the latest sign of improving relations between the two countries.
Malacañang said that President Xi’s visit will take place after the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea in November.
But prior to his visit, a deal on the proposed joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea may possibly be forged.
This is after Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the creation of a group that will study the proposal.
The Palace also expects Xi to visit Davao City, the home town of President Duterte.
“He was looking forward to visiting the Philippines and I remember in China, the President even invited him not just to come to the Philippines but to come to his house and have dinner in his house in Davao,” Roque said. — UNTV News & Rescue