MANILA— Senator Grace Poe on Friday welcomed the move of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to issue a notice to terminate the contract of the Metro Rail Transit’s (MRT) maintenance provider, Busan Universal Rails, Inc (BURI).
“It’s about time that the DOTr took decisive action against BURI. BURI has proven to be an incompetent maintenance service provider,” Poe said in a press statement.
Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said that the riding public has suffered “more than enough “with its record of train breakdowns and derailments.
She, meanwhile, cautioned the DOTr to anticipate legal action taken by BURI and make sure that the MRT continues to run and provides better service.
“The DOTr should ensure that the people do not suffer from unreliable and unsafe public transportation during the course of litigation,” Poe said.
Poe also urged the agency to address repairs and maintenance of the trains by either looking for a new contractor or by creating a technical and engineering team that will see to the repair and maintenance of the trains.
BURI has seven days to respond to DOTr’s notice. Reports showed that BURI’s legal counsel is now preparing its response.
Poe earlier said that she is poised to recommend raps against former officials of the now defunct Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) in relation to problems hounding the MRT-3.
Poe lamented anew how a total of PHP526 million in taxpayers’ money was wasted in purchasing 48 light rail vehicles (LRVs) for the MRT-3 as they were incompatible with existing facilities.
She said that a total of PHP526 million has so far been paid by the government to Dalian Corp., out of the PHP3.8 billion deal.
Only 29 out of the 48 LRVs that were delivered have signaling system installed and the DOTr is still in the process of running tests on the trains.
She said that there were several “grounds for canceling the order” and return the trains to the Chinese company which manufactured them.
The DOTr, for its part, said it is considering returning the incompatible coaches to China.
Poe said she may call for another hearing on the MRT.