Don’t terminate MRT-3 contract, DOTr urged

Don’t terminate MRT-3 contract, DOTr urged

Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) maintenance provider Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI) has asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) not to unilaterally terminate its contract as it argued that the general cause of the trains’ failure is the railway’s current condition. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, File

MANILA, Philippines -  Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) maintenance provider Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI) has asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) not to unilaterally terminate its contract as it argued that the general cause of the trains’ failure is the railway’s current condition.


Responding to the DOTr directive to explain why the contract should not be terminated, BURI explained that it did all its contractual obligations and, at times, even exceeded what was required.


Since its contract took effect in January last year, BURI restored two to three cars every month to meet the requirements set by DOTr and provided 66 operational cars or an average of 20 trains on revenue runs with two on reserve.


On the allegation of poor maintenance, BURI claimed it performed more than what is required in the maintenance contract to ensure safe train operations.


“Given issues on design flaws of the MRT trains, the firm introduced works beyond contractual requirements to make the trains more reliable than what they were more than a decade ago,” it said.


It blamed the current tracks condition as among the reasons for the MRT-3 service interruptions, adding that it even alerted the DOTr on the need to rehabilitate the tracks as early as January last year – a recommendation that has yet to be acted on by the government.


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BURI asked to resolve the issue on contract termination through consultations or meetings.


Earlier, DOTr undersecretary for the railway sector Cesar Chavez said the department is looking at the partial termination of BURI’s contracts for signaling, amounting to P888 million, and general overhaul, worth P907.37 million, due to service disruptions.


Since the start of the year, more than 100 unloading incidents at the MRT-3 have been recorded. Last year, there were 586 incidents. The MRT-3 runs from North Ave. station in Quezon City until Taft station in Pasay City.


Last year, the train system had 10.27 million passengers, up from 9.85 million passengers in 2015. In December last year, the train system had an average of 409,000 passengers daily.