MRT 3 maintenance firm cries ‘unfair’
on govt ‘blame game’ over glitches

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The maintenance provider of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 said on Tuesday that it was unfair for the Duterte administration to blame it for the glitches in the train system, insisting that it has delivered on its contractual obligations and even went beyond some of its requirements.

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“It is unfair to continuously put the blame on us for every incidence of train stoppage that is generally and more often caused by the system’s rail condition and increasingly evident design flaws,” according to Charles Mercado, legal counsel and spokesperson of the Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI) in a media briefing in Makati.

“We have been treated unfairly and wrongly portrayed as a favored contractor of the past administration that is just there to take in money and not do anything as a service contractor,” Mercado said.

Mercado said that a number of glitches was caused by door issues — a result of passengers leaning on the doors.

“Not all the glicthes are maintenance issues. You cannot blame us,” Mercado said.

According to Mercado, BURI was able to decrease stoppages in 2016 by 17 percent. and by 20 percent in 2015.

Mercado also noted that BURI enabled the MRT3 to deploy 18 trains all at once, and even have 66 operational cars out of 72.

Cesar Chavez, transport undersecretary for rail, said that the MRT3 contract with BURI should be terminated because of its poor performance.

According to Mercado, the contract cannot just easily be cancelled as this has to undergo a long and proper process.

Mercado also reminded the government to replace the rails as these were old and ongoing train usage would wear this out.

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