Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DOST automated rail transport is back on track

By George Robert Valencia III, S&T Media Service

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) switches on the green light to make way forthe continuation of the development of the first all-Filipino mass transport system in a ceremonial awarding rites on June 19, 2012 at the Traders Hotel.

The awarding of contract to Miescor Builders Inc to construct the 465-meter test tack in the University of the Philippines Diliman campus is part of this year’s celebration of the Metals and Engineering (M&E) Week, according to DOST’s Metals Industry Research and Development Center.

The AGTS will run on a track that curves from the CP Garcia Avenue near the CHED building to the area of the College of Arts building. To construct the track is the Miescor Builders Inc.,a leading construction and engineering company wholly owned by the Meralco Industrial Engineering Services Corp.

“The Automated Guideway Transit System or AGTS willbe the future of mass transport systems,” DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said.

The AGTS is one of DOST’s high-impact technology solutions and is the first among DOST’s several proposed public transportation systems for Metro Manila, Sec. Montejo added.

Composing the project team are engineers from DOST-MIRDC, UP Diliman, and the Project Management Engineering and Design Service Office (PMEDSO). The team aimsto create a fully-automated, driverless electric transportationthat travels on an elevated rail or guideway.

The guideway will stand at an elevation of 6.1 meters supported by high-quality concrete material, while the train bodywill be composed of two adjoining coaches, each having 30-people capacity. Also, the coaches will roll on rubber tires instead of metal wheels to minimize track noise, andwill have bogies to ensure comfort and stability.

According to Engr. Jonathan Q. Puerto, Officer-in-Charge of the office of the Deputy Executive Director of DOST-MIRDC, the test track in UP Diliman will help MIRDC to fine-tune the technology’s mechanisms and operation, which include speed, stability, brake distance and power, among others.

“If all goes as planned in the construction of the guideway, we will be able to initiate the testing in October,” said Engr. Puerto.

Aside from being locally developed, theDOST’sAGTS isenvironmentally soundas it is non-polluting. It is also reliablebecause it is fully automated, and safe because the elevated guideway will not get derailed or cause road accidents. The AGT also helps reduce traffic congestion and its economic costs, estimated at P140 billion annually.
Some countries that are reaping benefits from the AGTS technology at presentinclude the United States, Japan, Singapore and Canada.

“If these countries can do it, so can the Philippines,” Sec. Montejo said.
The AGTS project is monitored by the DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development.

Rains halt classes in Bulacan, Ipo dam spills water

MALOLOS CITY—Heavy rains on Sunday night to Monday morning led officials in Bulacan to suspend classes in selected schools yesterday.

This developed as the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) allayed fears of possible flooding after Ipo dam started spilling 30 cubic meters of water per second at 6 a.m. yesterday.

The Pampanga River Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (PRFFWC) also issued related warning to communities in low-lying and high tide-affected areas in Bulacan and Pampanga.

Provincial Administrator Jim Valerio said that as early 6 a.m. yesterday, Mayor Orencio Gabriel of Obando town declared suspension of classes in all levels in his town.

The schools covered included the Bulacan Polytechnic College (BPC) campus in Obando town along with elementary and high schools.

Valerio said that the most part of Obando went underwater due to heavy rains which aggravated the daily rise of tidal water.

In Norzagaray town, Mayor Feliciano Legazpi also suspended classes in elementary and high schools due to heavy rains.

Classes in elementary schools were suspended in the mountain town of Donya Remedios Trinidad.

In the coastal town of Hagonoy, school administrators decided to suspend classes in elementary and high school due to heavy rains and high tide.

In Malolos City, classes were also suspended in Barangays Dakila, Tikay, Sumapang Matanda and other low lying villages.

Mayor Christian Natividad of Malolos said the impact of night-long heavy rains varied from place to place with some areas in the city hardly affected.

“We left the decision to school administrators,” he said.(Dino Balabo)