P3.81-B maintenance deal to run for 3 years
A Korean-Filipino joint venture has been awarded a three-year contract to maintain the Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3) line, the government announced on Thursday.
The Department of Transportation and Telecommunications (DOTC) said the P3.81-billion deal, which would take effect January next year, was bagged by the group of Busan Transportation Corporation, Edison Development & Construction, Tramat Mercantile Inc., TMICorp Inc. and Castan Corporation.
The three-year duration, the department said, will allow the new service provider to conduct a general overhaul of MRT-3 trains and replace the line’s signalling system.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, in a text message to The Manila Times, said the contract would be purely for maintenance and that ownership of the line remained with the group led by Robert Sobrepeña.
Previous attempts to bid out the long-term maintenance contract—once in September 2014 and again in January 2015—failed with no offers having been submitted.
An alternative procurement method was resorted to by the Transportation department, which said this was allowed by Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
It also cited the urgent need to address the railway’s maintenance requirements and core problems of obsolescence and wear-and-tear.
Approvals were secured from the Government Procurement Policy Board, Department of Justice and the National Economic Development Authority.
The Transportation department said that in procuring the long-term service provider, it engaged subcontractors directly under a multi-disciplinary approach to enhance the efficiency of maintenance works.
In a related development, the department also said that a second new light rail vehicle (LRV) for the MRT-3 arrived Wednesday, as scheduled, at the Manila International Container Terminal.
After the shipment is processed by the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the unit will be transported to the MRT-3 Depot for component testing that is expected to end in February.
Two more LRVs are expected to be delivered over the next two months and MRT-3 passengers can expect one new running train by the end of the first quarter of next year.
Delivery of the LRVs will be accelerated to four per month by March and shipments are scheduled to be completed with the arrival of the 48th unit in January 2017.
The 48 new LRVs are part of the DOTC’s MRT-3 capacity expansion project, which aims to decongest the metropolis’ busiest railway system by boosting its capacity to over 800,000 daily passengers.