Emmie V. Abadilla | Business Manila Bulletin | November 6, 2017

It's final. The government has decided to scrap the entire contract of Busan Universal Railways Inc. (BURI) for Metro Railway Transit 3 (MRT-3) but will absorb the latter's technical staff vital for the system's maintenance.

To avoid disrupting MRT3 services, an MRT-3 Maintenance Transition Team (MTT) will temporarily take over the railway's maintenance works while the state is processing the procurement of a new maintenance provider.

In addition, the Philippine National Railways (PNR) and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) will provide technical support and expertise for the MRT3 system.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) yesterday (November 6, 2017) served its final decision to terminate its contract with BURI for the maintenance of MRT-3, general overhauling of 43 Light Rail Vehicles (LRV), total replacement of its signaling system plus other maintenance works.

The decision, which DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade signed on November 3, 2017, stated that BURI failed to address the issues raised in the Notice of Termination served to them last month (October 17, 2017).

These include BURI's poor performance, failure to operate reliable and efficient trains and implement a procurement plan for spare parts as well as failure to comply with the contractual requirements of a complete and up to date Computerized Maintenance Management System.

The DOTr Secretary likewise signed a memo for the establishment and composition of the MTT.

"What's at stake here is the welfare and interest of the riding public. This office could not just sit back and wait while watching BURI trifle and flirt with the lives of the commuting public with its substandard performance," he stressed.