The three-year contract to maintain the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT3) between the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and South Korea’s Busan Transport Corp. is still on, the department said on Wednesday.
Despite reports that the Busan Transport is contemplating on withdrawing from the P3.81-billion contract from to maintain the rails of the MRT3, Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya told The Manila Times that the firm has not backed out of the deal.
The contract was awarded last month through a negotiated deal.
“No… We are still discussing with them,” Abaya said in a text message.
Busan Transport is allegedly having second thoughts about pushing through with the contract, because it was awarded to them without going through a public bidding.
The firm is concerned that it might be facing with lawsuits because of what happened.
Previous attempts to bid out the long-term maintenance contract—once in September 2014 and again in January 2015—resulted in failure in the absence of bidders.
Recognizing the urgent need to address the mass railway’s maintenance needs and the core problems of obsolescence and wear-and-tear, the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) unanimously approved the DOTC’s decision to proceed with an alternative mode of procurement.
Busan Transport was awarded a six-month contract prior to the P3.81-billion, three-year contract. The six-month contract expired last Monday, January 4.
Abaya maintained that Busan Transport is still willing to push through with the contract which was supposed to have started on January 5.
“They are serious in rendering services and sharing their expertise,” Abaya said.
The DOTC has been discussing the contract with Busan Transport over the last two days.
Under the deal, Busan Transport will fulfill the general maintenance requirements for three years. The contract period is expected allow the company to procure the necessary spare parts needed to increase the number of operating trains, especially during peak hours.
Meanwhile, German-Filipino joint venture maintenance contractor Schunk Bahn-und Industreitechnik-Comm Builders and Technology Philippines (SBI-CBT JV) has sued government official regarding its contract with the DOTC to take care of the MRT3’s rolling stock.
The German-Filipino firm claims that the DOTC has failed to pay them the full amount for spare parts and services.
The Manila Times tried to seek the MRT3 General Manager Roman Buenafe for comments, but he could not be reached as of press time.
The 15-year-old mass rail system runs through the length of EDSA and serves 650,000 passengers daily.