The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is pursuing an unsolicited proposal for the 30-year operation and maintenance of the Metro Rail Transit-3 to end the blame game associated with the repeated breakdowns of the MRT-3’s rolling stocks.
“Many of MRT-3’s problems in recent years resulted from successive short-term and fragmented maintenance contracts, and from finger-pointing due to having different entities maintaining and operating MRT-3,” the DOTr said in a statement over the weekend.
“DOTr is addressing this by pursuing an unsolicited proposal for the 30-year operation and maintenance of MRT-3. Original proponent status has been given to the proponent, Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp., and the proposal will be soon endorsed to NEDA [National Economic and Development Authority],” it added.
The DOTr also said it has formalized an arrangement with Japan for assistance in rehabilitating and maintaining the MRT-3, with the government of Japan nominating a service provider that “must be highly qualified and with a proven track record.”
The agency also apologized for the a smoke emitted from one of the seats of an MRT-3 train on Friday afternoon, causing the unloading of 600 passengers who had to walk along the sides of the railway to the nearest stations. The incident happened between the Cubao and Kamuning stations.
“The DOTr expresses [its]sincere apologies to those who were affected and inconvenienced by the recent smoke incident,” the DOTr said.
“Fault analysis is ongoing and in the interest of accuracy and transparency, DOTr has directed MRT-3 management to release to the public their technical findings at the soonest possible time,” it added.
The former maintenance provider for the MRT-3, Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI), said DOTr must stop blaming other parties and take full responsibility over the recent problems experienced by the MRT-3.
“DOTr fails to recall the fact that when they hurriedly took over the maintenance of the MRT3, it was an operational and safe MRT3. They failed to organize a transition team, composed of experienced rail engineers, to ensure the continuing safety and efficient maintenance of the MRT3,” BURI said.
“Is it not obvious that under BURI’s watch, such incidents like the uncoupling of trains on the mainline never happened?” the company added.