By Jovic Yee | Philippine Daily Inquirer | December 16, 2015

UNLESS the government pays its balance of more than P100 million, there might not be enough trains to service the increased mass of commuters expected during the Christmas rush, the maintenance provider of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT 3) warned Tuesday.

The German firm Schunk Bahn Und-Industrietechnik GmbH had stopped procuring new spare parts for the MRT trains because “the government is not paying,” said the company’s project director, Rolf Bieri.

“How long would you supply somebody stuff and not get paid? How long would you do that? We are not a charity, we are a company,” Bieri said during a press briefing at a Quezon City hotel on Tuesday.

Bieri said the German firm and its venture partner, Comm Builders and Technology Philippines Corp., decided to stop shipping in new spare parts for the trains because of the MRT administration’s nonpayment of its balance of around P103 million.

In July this year, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) awarded the P131.28-million contract to the joint venture for them to maintain the MRT-3 trains, its signaling system and depot equipment.