Govt scraps rail deal with Korean firm

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The Department of Transportation (DoTr) on Monday terminated its contract with South Korean firm Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI), the maintenance provider of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3.

“It cannot be overemphasized that what is at stake here is the welfare and interest of the riding public. This office could not just sit back and wait while watching BURI trifle and flirt with the lives of the commuting public, with its sub-standard performance,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a statement.

Tugade scrapped the contract on November 3, 2017, on the following grounds: failure to put in service and subsequently ensure the availability of contractually obligated number of trains; failure to put in operation reliable and efficient trains; failure to implement a feasible procurement plan for spare parts; and failure to comply with contractual requirements of a complete and up-to-date computerized maintenance management system.

Tugade approved the establishment of a Maintenance Transition Team that would temporarily take over maintenance work.

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Meanwhile, the DoTr is looking for a new maintenance provider.

It said the MRT 3, which plies the North Avenue-Taft Avenue-North Avenue route will absorb technical personnel from BURI whose roles are vital in MRT 3 maintenance work.

The Philippine National Railways and the Light Rail Transit Authority, operator of Light Rail Transit 2, said they are committed to provide sufficient technical support and expertise to ensure smooth transition of MRT 3 maintenance work.

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