THE government may resort to emergency procurement for the maintenance of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 for lack of competitive bidders.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya made the admission during the congressional hearing on MRT problems conducted by the House Metro Manila Development panel chaired by Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo.
Abaya said the entire contract is worth P3.8 billion.
The Department of Transportation and Communications had held two biddings but these failed.
“We are now preparing for emergency procurement. We are already in talks with the Government Procurement Policy Board to allow us to proceed with such since we already conducted two biddings but no bidders were able to meet the qualifications,” Abaya told lawmakers.
The contract of APT Global, the existing maintenance provider of the MRT-3 which stretches from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City, expires this month. The MRT-3 ferries an average of 500,000 passengers a day.
But Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz opposed the holding of a negotiated bidding, saying the emergency bid conducted for MRT-3’s maintenance in October, 2012 resulted in the award of the contract to startup company PH Trams.
PH Trams stirred controversy because one of its incorporators, Wilson de Vera, was accused as the broker in the alleged attempt of former MRT General Manager Al Vitangcol to extort $30 million from Czech ambassador Joseph Rychtar and Czech train carmaker Inekon.
“We should be vigilant against this possible negotiated contract because under emergency procurement, the DOTC can just choose any company to its liking for the MRT-3’s emergency,” dela Cruz warned.