By DJ Yap | | August 6, 2015

Who will take the blame for future breakdowns in the metro train system?

According to the Department of Transportation and Communications, there was no longer “one single point of responsibility” for the troubled Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 as contracts have been awarded to different companies for its various components, including ticketing and maintenance of the system.

At the hearing of the House panel on Metro Manila development, DOTC undersecretary Jose Lotilla said the agency completed in July the awarding of six-month contracts worth P342 million on a per discipline basis after the bidding for the entire package failed.

“Now there is no single point of responsibility. It’s an interim arrangement. Otherwise, your choice is you stop operations because no one is capable of maintaining the whole system,” he told the panel chaired by Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo.

To which Abakada Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz retorted: “The single point of responsibility is now the Department of Transportation and Communications.”

Lotilla enumerated the winning contractors.

The contract for power and overhead catenary went to MRAIL Inc.; for tracks maintenance to Jorgman-Korail-Erin Marty Joint Venture; for automatic fare collection to Future Logic Corp.; for communications to TriLink Technologies;

For elevators and escalators to Jardine Schindler, and International Elevator and Equipment Inc.; for upkeep of facilities to Global Epcom Services; and for train maintenance to the Schunk Bahn-und Industrietechnik GmbH–Comm Builders & Technology Phils. Corp. joint venture.

Two of the companies, Global Epcom and Future Logic, are affiliated with the previous maintenance provider Autre Porte Technique Global Inc. (APT Global), which has been blamed for the notorious MRT breakdowns.

Lotilla said Jorgman, the only Filipino firm, also won the contract to rehabilitate the tracks of the Light Rail Transit system.

“If you will recall, there were failed biddings when we were looking for a total maintenance provider. What happened was because of failed biddings. It looked like not one company could fix all aspects of MRT system, so the contract was divided per system,” he said.