By Miguel R. Camus | Philippine Daily Inquirer | July 1, 2015

THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation and Communications said it had awarded the contract for the largest maintenance component of the congested Metro Rail Transit Line 3 in Metro Manila to a German-Filipino group.

In a statement, the DOTC said the P131.28 million contract, which covers the rolling stocks, depot equipment, and signaling—was won by Schunk Bahn-und Industrietechnik GmbH—Comm Builders & Technology Phils. Corp. Joint Venture (SBI-CB&T JV) last week.

SBI-CB&T will be responsible for the upkeep of the MRT-3’s trains, signaling system, and depot equipment starting July 5.

This is the fifth of seven maintenance components that the DOTC has awarded for MRT-3, which suffers from frequent operating glitches following years of neglect. It is also operating well beyond its designed capacity of 350,000 passengers per day, as it serves well over half a million people.

The remaining two components involve the MRT-3’s Power Supply and Overhead Catenary System, and the Conveyance Systems, the DOTC said.

In its statement, the DOTC said Schunk Bahn-und Industrietechnik was an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of high-quality power transmission railway equipment. Meanwhile, CB&T is part of the joint venture that currently maintains the Light Rail Transit Line 1 system.

The other four maintenance contracts cover the rail tracks and permanent ways (Jorgman-Korail-Erin Marty JV), buildings and facilities (Global Epcom Services, Inc.), communication systems (Trilink Technologies, Inc) and ticketing system (Future Logic Corp.).

Last week, the DOTC confirmed the mid-August arrival of the prototype for 48 new train coaches for MRT-3. This will lead to the delivery of three train coaches per month beginning in the end of January 2016, until the delivery of all 48 units is completed.