The Department of Transportation recently sent the maitenance provider of MRT a notice of termination for its alleged failure to ensure the reliability of the service of the train line. File

Poe: Time for DOTr to take 'decisive action' vs MRT maintenance provider
Audrey Morallo ( - October 20, 2017 - 9:02am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Grace Poe on Friday supported the move of the Department of Transportation to issue a notice of termination of contract to Metro Rail Transit maintenance provider Busan Universal Rails Inc., which puts it a step closer to rescinding the agreement the government agency says has failed to improve the performance of the aging train line.

According to Poe, it is already time for the DOTr to take a "decisive action" against BURI which she says has proven to be an "incompetent maintenance provider."

She said that the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who used the train line along EDSA had suffered "more than enough" with the "dismal record" of BURI which had been marred by daily train breakdowns and derailments.

READ: MRT maintenance provider sues DoTr execs over P176-M delayed payments

Poe said that the DOTr should anticipate a legal challenge from BURI and take steps to ensure that the MRT would continue to run and provide better service.

"We expect BURI, however baseless its cause of action may be, to take legal action against the DOTr, which could take years to resolve," Poe said in a statement.

"In any case, the DOTr should ensure that the people do not suffer from unreliable and unsafe public transportation during the course of litigation," she added.

READ: File plunder case vs MRT-3 maintainer, DOTr urged

The DOTr on Friday explained that it issued the notice based on BURI's poor performance as maintenance provider, its failure to put in service and ensure the availability of a sufficient number of reliable and efficient trains, failure to come up with a "feasible procurement plan" for spare parts and failure to institute a complete and updated Computer Maintenance Management System.

BURI has seven days to respond to the notice, according to DOTr, and after this it will decide in 10 days whether to terminate the contract or not.

The maintenance provider vowed to disprove the basis of the allegations of DOTr stipulated in its notice of termination.

READ: MRT-3 lost P80 M due to poor maintenance – DOTr

According to Poe, the DOTr should address the problems hounding the train line by looking for a new maintenance provider or creating an interim engineering team that would conduct the repair of the system's problems.

"The DOTr should therefore address/answer for the repairs and maintenance of the trains by either immediately looking for a new contractor or by creating, in the interim, a technical and engineering team that will see to the repair and maintenance of the trains," Poe said.

MRT has been hounded by technical glitches and problems, resulting in frequent breakdowns and unloading of passengers.

The previous administration touted its plan to procure 48 China-made trains in an effort to improve the line's services, but the coaches have proven unusable to date.

The leadership of the Senate recently backed the proposal to file cases against former officials of the DOTr (then known as the Department of Transportation and Communications) for the wastage of P526 million used to buy the coaches.

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