Press Release
July 19, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara hailed the newly inaugurated monorail system in the University of the Philippines Diliman, saying that it is a great example of innovative and ecofriendly next-generation public transport system for the country.

"Filipinos' ingenuity and innovativeness are behind this pioneering project. We have demonstrated our inventiveness when we converted the U.S. military jeep into our jeepney, a true national icon. The jeepney is also very symbolic for the UP community because of the IKOT and TOKI.

"The changing times compel us to become inventive once more in terms of providing efficient transportation to the public without further degrading the environment, increasing fuel costs and aggravating traffic," said Angara.

The local monorail system project, or the Automated Guideway Transit (AGT), is designed to run like the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) but is a single-rail mass transit system that will cost 20 percent less than imported ones.

It is a collaborative project between the Department of Science and Technology's (DOST) Metal Industry Research and Development Center and a group of engineers from UP Diliman. The monorail will run on a two-kilometer test track in the Diliman campus, with a capacity of up to 60 passengers.

"I have long been advocating for more local innovations like this. It is high time we establish cleaner modes of transport that would help us reduce dependence on imported fuel and, at the same time, make our cities more habitable in the long-run," said Angara, chair of the Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).

Angara cited a study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) showing that Metro Manila is one of the highest ranking Asian cities facing problems in air quality. The level of suspended particulate matter (SPM) in Metro Manila is reportedly more than double the limit set by the World Health Organization. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said 70 percent of this is emitted by motor vehicles.

The UP AGT project will be a great model for alternative transport, as it is also in line with the Electric Vehicle Program and the Green Transport Initiative pushed by the DOST, COMSTE and the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP).

"These are the projects we need to invest in - the projects of the future. Such initiatives deserve our full support not only to ensure success, but also to encourage more Filipino innovation in the delivery of effective public utility services," stressed Angara.

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