ABS-CBN News | November 9, 2017

The Department of Transportation hopes to fast track the selection of a new maintenance provider for the MRT while looking for ways to assist commuters during service interruptions, an official said Thursday.

The DOTr is looking at a possible "negotiated procurement" that still complies with law to replace Busan Universal Rail Inc, whose contract to maintain the MRT was terminated this week due to "dismal" performance, said Undersecretary Reinier Paul Yebra.

It will also deploy 20 point-to-point buses with police escorts to ferry passengers when trains break down, Yebra told ANC's Headstart.

"Awang-awa na kami sa riding public. Lahat iniisip namin para mapadali buhay nila," he said. "Yan ang objective ng lahat ng ito."

(We pity the riding public. We are doing everything to make life easier for them. That is our objective.)

A government-led "transition team" is in charge of maintaining the MRT until a replacement for BURI is selected, he said.

Yebra said the government was studying a proposal by tycoon Manuel Pangilinan to take over the MRT, the capital's main railway that serves over 500,000 commuters daily.

A possible plunder complaint against former transportation secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya was being studied, he said. Abaya was charged with graft last month over the BURI deal.