ABS-CBN News | October 20, 2017

The government has served notice to the maintenance service provider of the MRT-3, the capital's main railway, that it will terminate its contract due to frequent service interruptions, a transport official said Friday.

The notice from Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade is the first step towards ending the agreement with Busan Universal Rail Inc, underseretary Reinier Yebra told ABS-CBN News.

"The first reason we cited there is for poor performance. We mentioned several incidents of train removal, train unloading, derailment, and service interruption," he said.

"Another reason we cited there is their failure to purchase or procure spare parts. Again, in general the failure to maintain reliable and efficient train," he added.

The company has 7 days to submit a position paper on why the contract should not be discontinued, after which, Tugade then will decide within 10 days whether or not to end it, said Yebra.

If the company fails to submit a position paper, Tugade can issue an order terminating the contract, he added.

The government said is "working fast" to find BURI's replacement, he said.

Roughly half a million people ride the MRT-3 daily and poor maintenance has been blamed for chronic service interruptions.

The train system, which runs through one of Metro Manila's busiest thoroughfares, bogged down about 4 times in the past week.