Gov’t must consider assuming task of providing maintenance service for MRT3 » Manila Bulletin News



By Ben Rosario

After freeing itself from a bad contract that adversely affected its mass railway transit objectives, government must now consider assuming the task of providing maintenance service for the Metro Rail Transit 3.

Metro Rail Transit 3 (Mark Balmores)

Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao made the proposal after the Department of Transportation decided to terminate the maintenance contract it had with Busan Universal Railway Inc.

Casilaos said the DOTr should have learned its lessons in dealing with private firms that it must now bid out the maintenance contract again.

Casilao aired this proposal as congressional sources claimed that the move to rescind the BURI contract is being backed by officials who are backing another private firm to take over the job.

“It is long overdue. It is not enough to terminate the contract with Buri, but also to hold them accountable for the unacceptable deterioration of the MRT system that affected and endangered hundreds of thousands of the commuting public,” Casilao said in a statement.

Further, the partylist lawmaker called on government to stop paying BURI and demand the return of payments already made due to its failure to carry out its contractual obligations.

“While other foreign monopoly firms are expressing interest of contracting with the MRT maintenance, the government should uphold public interest and rid out of profiteering that leads to cost-cutting, so as to improve and effectively render services to the commuters,” he said.

BURI lawyers have previously made clear that they would contest in court the unilateral decision to rescind the contract.

Meanwhile, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles agreed with the decision of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to put an end to DOTr’s deals with BURI.

“I’m really happy that Secretary Tugade has the political will to do the right thing for the sake of our hundreds of thousands of MRT3 commuters. This action of the DOTr has been a long time coming but it’s still better late than never. For this, I thank Secretary Tugade for finally taking action,” said Nograles who was behind the series of exposés against BURI and its anomalous contract with the MRT3.

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