Poe tells DOTr to seek alternative service provider for MRT
With the looming termination of the Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI) as the maintenance service provider of MRT-3, Senator Grace Poe said the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has to make sure that the riding public will not suffer from unsafe transportation while the fate of BURI hangs in the balance.
“The DOTr should ensure that the people do not suffer from unreliable and unsafe public transportation during the course of litigation,” Poe said in a statement on Friday.
“The DOTr should therefore address or answer for the repairs and maintenance of the trains by either immediately looking for a new contractor or by creating, in the interim, a technical and engineering team that will see to the repair and maintenance of the trains,” she said.
Last Tuesday, the DOTr issued a notice to terminate against BURI, citing four reasons, including “poor performance.”
The DOTr said BURI “failed to put in service and subsequently ensure the availability of contractually obligated number of trains, and more importantly, failed to put in operation reliable and efficient trains.”
It also cited BURI’s “failure to implement a feasible procurement plan for spare parts, as it in fact failed to procure and store the required volume of spare parts, which affected its ability to effect immediate repairs on defective trains and other facilities of the MRT-3 system, and failure to comply with the contractual requirements of a complete and up to date Computerized Maintenance Management System.
The transportation body gave BURI seven days upon receipt of the notice to respond and submit a verified position paper stating why its contract should not be terminated.
The DOTr will then decide in 10 days, upon receipt of BURI’s response, whether or not it will issue an order to terminate the entire contract.
Poe affirmed the DOTr’s move, saying that “it’s about time that the DOTr took decisive action against BURI.”
“BURI has proven to be an incompetent maintenance service provider, and the riding public has suffered more than enough with its dismal record of train breakdowns and derailments that have become almost daily events,” she said.
“We expect BURI, however baseless its cause of action may be, to take legal action against the DOTr, which could take years to resolve. Thus, we have to caution the DOTr to anticipate accordingly and take all necessary actions to make sure that the MRT continues to run and, hopefully, provide better service,” she added. /jpv
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