THE Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is increasing the proposed budget for the multiyear maintenance contract for Metro Rail Transit 3 to P4.2 billion from P2.2 billion to reflect additional tasks in the contract.
“Now we’re including in the lot the general overhaul of the trains and replacement of signaling system,” MRT general manager Engr. Roman Buenafe told reporters
If the amount and mode is approved, it can be negotiated “with just one party according to R.A. 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act),” he said.
Buenafe said they were set to finalize the terms of the new contract last Tuesday and submit it to the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
Once the contract is approved by the GPBB, negotiations can start.
“What we need from the GPPB is approval of the amount to P4.2 billion,” he said, adding that the original amount of P2.4 billion was only for the maintenance provider.
He said the new contract will cover a period of three years. “Three years. We’re finally finishing the terms of reference (TOR). We got stuck at the signaling [system], we had to get a consultant plus we had to check on the end product of the consultant,” he added.
The new contract will involve “multi-discipline maintenance,” he explained.
“We are looking this July 5 to issue the notice to proceed (NTP). There are already notices of award (NOA). Rolling stock and power remain an issue. There was a NOA already for power, but they backed out. We are still trying to find out the deeper story. As for the rolling stock, there is a protest. Ideally, all of these should be ready at the same time,” Buenafe said.
The DOTC earlier proposed an emergency mode procurement to get a new maintenance provider for MRT-3 after it failed to attract bidders for the maintenance contract in 2014.
DOTC Secretary Emilio Joseph Abaya has said the agency is hoping to escape from the month-to-month penalty system for the current MRT-3 maintenance provider.
“We immediately want to award the multi-discipline mode, transferring from month-to-month mode,” Abaya told reporters in a recent press briefing.
The multi-disciplinary mode includes maintenance of the rolling stocks, power supply, tracks and permanent ways, automated fare collection system, communications, building facilities and equipment and conveyance.
“Clearly the purpose of the multi-disciplinary mode is to plan properly because with this one, the contract is for six months, so they know what should be procured, and what will be covered by those six months. So, hopefully, buying the appropriate spare parts, having clear procurement plans and an investment plan would translate to better service,” Abaya said.
“Hopefully, awarding of the multi-disciplinary mode would address that,” he said.
The MRT-3 is DOTC’s integrated strategy to alleviate the traffic congestion along the EDSA corridor. The train line carries about 600,000 passengers daily on its 17-kilometer route.
MRT-3 management assured the public that they will continue their efforts to improve the train system.
According to the MRT, 48 brand-new coaches will be delivered in tranches from 2015 to 2017to address the train system’s overcapacity problems.
Under the procurement contract for the new coaches, the train supplier has 18 months, or until the third quarter of 2015, to deliver its prototype unit for testing before the rest of the light rail vehicles arrive on a monthly basis.