September 2, 2014

The government revealed its plan to buy out the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) system for P53 billion from MRT Holdings, the private company that runs the train system, at a Senate hearing on Monday. MRT Holdings, however, said the amount is not enough, according to Kara David's report on "24 Oras" Tuesday evening. Pointing fingers According to the report, the

government wants to take full control of running the glitch-plagued MRT instead of relying on a private company to take care of the train system. One of the line's problems, said MRT 3's OIC Honorito Chaneco in the report, is its signaling system, adding that the MRT needs to upgrade to a newer system. At the hearing, Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero said that this is MRT Holdings' responsibility according to its contract, and its failure to do so means a case could be filed against it. MRT Holdings, however, insisted that it did not breach any clause of its contract with the DOTC. In fact, the company said, it had a plan to upgrade MRT's system way back in 2002, but the government did not approve it. MRT Holdings spokesperson David Narvasa insisted, "We have been maintaining it [MRT] properly." "For the first 12 years that it was us maintaining it, it was running. But since the government took over, we do not know what has happened to the system," he added. MRT Holdings claims that the MRT's problems started when the DOTC changed the train system's maintenance provider in October 2012. The private company also doubts if the 48 trains DOTC recently bought will work properly with the current train system. Narvasa said that there may be compatibility issues since they are manufactured by a different train company. GMA News is still trying to get the side of DOTC regarding MRT Holdings' statements. — BM, GMA News