Lawmaker seeks probe of MRT deal

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An opposition lawmaker on Sunday said that the Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3) maintenance contract recently awarded to a Korean-Filipino joint venture should be investigated to determine if it contains provisions for “hidden fare hikes.”

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Last week, the government announced that the P3.81-billion deal that will take effect in January and run for three years has been awarded.

“The DOTC [Department of Transportation and Communications] is saying that there is an emergency to fix the problems but they are not saying that they are the ones who caused it. This questionable deal should be probed and I hope that the DOTC is not trying to pull another fast one on MRT commuters. We have to check the deal and ensure that there is no hidden fare hike,” Colmenares said in a statement on Sunday.

The lawmaker recalled that the P65-billion Light Rail Transit-1 (LRT-1) extension deal which the Transportation department awarded last year to a consortium led by the Ayala-Pangilinan group “explicitly include fare hikes for LRT.”

“Mahirap na pong magtiwala ngayon sa mga deals na bigla na lang pinalulusot ng Aquino admin lalo na ng DOTC dahil ilang beses na tayong napaso sa mga ito at tayong mga nagbabayad ng buwis ang laging pinagbabayad [It is difficult to trust deals that the Aquino administration especially the DOTC because we got burned many times we end up suffering in the end],” Colmenares said.

The P3.81-billion maintenance deal was awarded to the group of Busan Transportation Corporation, Edison Development & Construction, Tramat Mercantile Inc., TMICorp Inc. and Castan Corporation.

The DOTC resorted to an alternative procurement method after two failed attempts to bid out the said contract.

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