Termination of MRT maintenance contract ‘overdue,’ solons say
Two left-wing lawmakers welcomed on Monday the Department of Transportation’s termination of Busan Universal Rail (Buri), Inc.’s contract for the maintenance of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3, but found this development “overdue.”
In separate statements, Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said Buri should be held accountable for the supposed continued deterioration of the train system during the contract’s 22-month effectivity.
“It is long overdue, it is not enough to terminate the contract with Buri,” Casilao said. “It should have been done much earlier as the company miserably failed to do its job in maintaining the MRT,” Zarate added.
READ: DOTr terminates contract with MRT-3 maintenance provider
But, instead of bidding out the maintenance of the rail systems to another private contractor, Casilao called on the government to take over the task.
He said the government should “uphold public interest and rid out of profiteering that leads to cost-cutting, so as to improve and effectively render services to the commuters.”
“The government should start with the maintenance operations, for an eventual take-over of the whole MRT system,” Casilao said.
Zarate echoed his Makabayan bloc-mate’s statement and said a government takeover of the MRT-3’s maintenance and operations would make it “ensure that it is safe, reliable and affordable for the riding public.”
Meanwhile, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Party-list Rep. Jericho Jonas Nograles, who had spearheaded a congressional inquiry into the alleged anomalies in Buri’s maintenance of the MRT-3, said termination of the contract would not be enough.
“I think that after the termination, the DOTr should start running after those who were behind the anomalous contract. This is one big step in President Duterte’s fight against corruption,” he said.
Without naming names for now, Nograles said charges should be pursued for “criminal negligence and plunder” against “those behind” the deal struck under the administration of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. /je
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