Ano ba meron sa Sumitomo? Poe asks why Tugade didn’t consider other firms to fix MRT
MANILA — Senator Grace Poe on Thursday said that while she had no problem with the decision of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to rehire the original maintenance provider of the Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3), she said that the agency should also be open to other providers.
Poe made this statement after the DOTr on Wednesday announced that it is set to sign an agreement with the original MRT-3 maintenance provider Sumitomo Corporation and its technical partner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the MRT-3 upkeep.
The senator, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, acknowledged that Sumitomo had a “good track record” before the MRT-3 started experiencing frequent glitches.
“Given the good track record of Sumitomo when it maintained the MRT for the first 12 years before the system went through a teleserye of unfortunate events, the prospect of having a reputable maintenance provider back is encouraging and a step in the right direction,” Poe said in a press statement.
She, however, reminded DOTr that the agency should also bear in mind that Sumitomo may not be the only maintenance provider or even the best one.
The senator also urged the DOTr to make sure that the contract should be compliant with the Freedom of Information (FOI) order.
“The government must ensure that the terms of the contract for whichever provider is hired, are not disadvantageous to the people and should be FOI-compliant,” she added.
DOTr has created a Maintenance Transition Team (MTT) which took over the maintenance of the MRT for three to six months while it is in the process of procuring a new maintenance provider.
The DOTr terminated its previous maintenance contract with Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI) last November 6 due to various issues.
The department particularly cited BURI’s failure to overhaul MRT-3’s train cars in compliance with the maintenance contract as only two out of 43 train cars have been overhauled as of November 21.
These failures resulted in several incidents of passenger unloading and train removal for the duration of BURI’s maintenance of the MRT which started January 2016. (PNA)