Japan’s Sumitomo Corp. has rejected the government’s offer to maintain anew the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), which has been encountering nearly daily mishaps.
Assistant Secretary Elvira Medina of the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said in an interview with GMA News that the government was instead looking for Sumitomo’s Filipino employees.
“Sumitomo begged off. They have their reasons,” Medina said in Filipino.
The DoTr has terminated the MRT-3 maintenance contract with Busan Universal Railways Inc. (BURI) due to “poor performance,” and sought to entice Sumitomo to come back as maintenance contractor.
Medina said the MRT-3 could only be shut down temporarily if there would be an alternative mode of transport for half a million commuters.
“We can’t just shut it down without an alternative solution… we need a holistic approach,” she said.
Medina earlier said that despite the problems each day at the MRT-3, it was still relatively safe to use.
Malacañang on Monday asked the public for “more time” to fix the MRT-3, following a series of mishaps.
“The President accepts the responsibility of instituting extensive reforms in the MRT to alleviate the plight of our commuters. We are just asking for more time because for one, the contracts entered into by the previous administration, particularly that of Busan, that needs to be rescinded or nullified first,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said.
Based on government records, the capacity of the MRT-3, which runs from EDSA-North Avenue in Quezon City to EDSA-Taft Avenue in Pasay City, is at 350,000 passengers per day. However, it is servicing more than 500,000 commuters per day.
with LLANESCA T. PANTI