DoTC eyes new MRT maintenance provider by January 2016
The deteriorating Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT) will have a new, long-term maintenance provider by January next year, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) said on Wednesday.
DoTC said the procurement of a three-year maintenance contract was unanimously approved by the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) last August 20.
“We were given the go signal by the GPPB last to pursue this mode of negotiated procurement. We’re targeting to award the contract within the year, and to have the new maintenance provider begin its services in January next year,” DoTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said in a statement.
In its request to the GPPB, DoTC cited the “immediate need” for a three-year maintenance provider to upgrade “worn-out facilities” and address other existing problems that haunt the congested railway system, “as well as the general overhaul of train coaches and the replacement of the signalling system.”
“These are essential in order to address the core problems of obsolescence and complete wear-and-tear,” DoTC said.
After two failed attempts to bid out MRT’s maintenance contract and while waiting for GPPB’s approval, DoTC has resorted to the existing six-month multidisciplinary approach, wherein seven different contractors are in charge of maintaining rail tracks and permanent ways, rolling stock (coaches) and depot equipment, power supply and overhead catenary, conveyance systems (elevators and escalators), communications systems, single-ticketing systems, and buildings and facilities.
“The new long-term maintenance provider will take over from these 7 multi-discipline contractors when their services expire in January. In accordance with the GPPB-approved plan, the DoTC has invited several established, well-reputed international expert groups in the railway maintanance industry,” DoTC said.
“This will effectively eliminate the possibility of non- or under-qualified firms from participating in the bid and eventually winning the contract,” it added.
DoTC has blamed the Sobrepeña-owned MRT Holdings Inc. for the sorry state of the MRT, saying that the private owner failed to add train coaches, conduct proper overhauling, and replace rail tracks, among others.
DoTC said the negotiated mode of procurement for the long-term maintenance contract was also approved by the Department of Justice and the National Economic Development Authority. Yuji Vincent Gonzales/TVJ
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