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On MRT Problems

Reports: there will be a possible temporary MRT maintenance shutdown.

Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya said he is willing to shut down the Metro Rail Transit (MRT)-3 system if needed to allow the rail system to catch up on maintenance work. He says he will drop everything under safety.

If that happens, then the 550,000 commuters must get ready to find alternative rides while enforcers must also be prepared for a sure traffic situation.

This August, an accident in Taft Station causing almost 40 injured passengers.
via Rappler.com

All MRT problems were investigated. The Senate continues the investigation.

MRTC Chief Robert Sobrepena (former) explained that the problem started when the government didn’t comply with the BLT agreement.

They agreed that the MRTC has the only right to choose a maintenance provider to develop the train system.

MRTC are composed of MRT Holdings including Fil-Estate. They are the only entity who can tell what is compatible with the MRT system.

When the government threw the rights of MRTC after getting another maintenance provider the train problems started to come up.

Despite of the good performance, the government terminated the contract of Sumitomo Corporation of Japan in 2012. Phl Trams.

The termination didn't went thru any public bidding. It didn't went thru consultation with the owners of MRT3.

Soprepena said that they already sent proposals to the government on how they improved the train systems. In fact they made three proposals in 2004, 2008 and in 2018.

Proposing that they wanted to buy new trains without any cost to the government, the government did not react about their proposal. The government only wanted second hand units. Look what is happening now.

The MRTC didn’t agree to the idea of the government. Obviously it would not help to upgrade the train system.

Where is the care for the commuters who pay taxes.

DOTC Secretary defended the action of the government. He says DOTC bypassed the BLT agreement because Sumitomo Corp. had raised their price from 1.4 million they asked for 2 million fee a month for their service.

The service of Sumitomo had been proven and tested while the other maintenance provider is not.

Sec. Abaya is blaming MRTC. He said that the private company is responsible to the MRT accident.

Reportedly it is not about maintenance, but it is about the engineering issues.

They point the blame to others. Trains stopping in mid-track, losing communication with base due to radio traffic interference, running with doors open, smoke emitting from a train while it is running. It was DOTC who was violating the BLT Agreement. MRT Holdings is the owner of the train line through the MRTC, while MRT3-DOTC is the operator under a 25-year build-lease-transfer (BLT) agreement with the owners. Why not MRTC sue the DOTC for numerous violations? DOTC Sec. Abaya's statement is really a big question to us.

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