Will LRT be affected by new maintenance contract rules?
- Rainier Allan Ronda () - May 16, 2003 - 12:00am
Will passengers of the Light Rail Transit plying the Baclaran-Monumento route be at risk when maintenance technicians stop reporting for work starting today?

The Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) has failed to extend its contract with Belgian technical consultant firm Transurb-Technirail (TNR) to ensure the trains would efficiently run.

However, the LRTA assured the public yesterday that its trains are safe as its engineers and technicians will temporarily takeover the maintenance.

LRTA Administrator Teddy Cruz Jr. said they would be tapping the servcies of LRTA engineers and technicians who have the experience and the expertise to maintain the trains.

"The LRTA has the capability to handle maintenance works of its trains," he said. "We hope the riding public could bear with us. We are just upholding the law."

"The LRTA will "rehire" TNR technical personnel in their individual capacities, as well as former engineers and technicians of an erstwhile sub-contractor of TNR," he added.

Lawyer Zozimo Mendoza, LRTA chief of staff, denied the claims of the affected contractor, that it takes a "learning curve of six months" to completely maintain the system.

"The learning curve is not applicable to the LRTA since only skilled technical personnel will be recruited," he said.

"When TNR took over the maintenance of Line 1 in August, 2000, it did not bring its technical men from Belgium to supervise and train local personnel but instead hired and relied on skilled workers of Metro, Inc., LRTA’s former contractor.

Cruz said the LRTA board, chaired by Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza, did not extend TNR’s contract because doing so would violate the law, especially the new rules on bidding.

"Pending the completion of the bidding process, the board directed the LRTA management to temporarily take over the maintenance of Line 1," he said.

Cruz said TNR’s maintenance contract expired on Feb. 12 last year and was extended by the LRTA board every month under the same terms and conditions until yesterday, pending the result of a public bidding.

"The LRTA expects to complete the bidding for a new maintenance contract by July this year," Cruz added.

TNR handles the repair and maintenance of LRTA’s trains and electronic systems to ensure the smooth operation of the rail system.

ADMINISTRATOR TEDDY CRUZ JR. BACLARAN-MONUMENTO CRUZ LAWYER ZOZIMO MENDOZA LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT AUTHORITY LRTA MAINTENANCE TNR TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARY LEANDRO MENDOZA
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