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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

MRT3-EDSA has been the center of negative whatnots in the past. Lots of controversies were building up while the government, through the Department of Transportation Commission (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Abaya was spreading the so-called equity value buyout of the MRT-3’s operator, Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC), was progressing despite thorny legal issues, including the latter’s suit filed in an arbitration court in Singapore. The buyout was ordered by President Aquino last year to end the huge rental fees guaranteed to its private operator.

Is the government buying out MRT 3? But what will happen now that the Philippine government wants to take over MRT 3?

The department earlier awarded a contract to China’s CNR Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co. Ltd. to supply 48 new train cars for MRT-3. This was in response to heavy congestion at the railway line, which was operating well above its intended capacity of 350,000 people a day. The new trains are expected to be delivered in batches starting the first half of 2015, the department announced in an earlier statement.

The Government could have avoided all the current and potential legal hassles in this MRT3 capacity expansion project had DOTC only abided by the 1999 BLT agreement and allowed MRTC to do its job of choosing the M&O contractor for this EDSA rail line.

The MRT3 is the lifeblood of every commuter along EDSA who sees it as their means of transportation for their daily existence. Their expectations for services render must be maximized for the common good. The Filipino people are the users of this train system who wanted comfortable and efficient operations and management. Upgrading the MRT3 train system for development is clearly visible for government to continue the hassles of the past.

The buyout for MRT3 evolved from DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya for the last months when the dilapidated relation of the government to MRT Holdings and MRTC are vanished despite the fact that MRTC’s Bob Sobrepena’s interview with a famous media network. Senate hearing ensued and both parties lay down their cards for the Senate and the Filipino people to clearly understand the background of the case; likewise, the train system breakdowns and the drama of the maintenance provider.

MRT3 buyout by the government seems to be the option at hand ever since? But private shareholders of the MRTC insist that the value falls short from its total equity value, and pointed out that the P56 billion only accounts for the bonds controlled by the two state-run banks which could not satisfy the whole buyout. It will settle the bonds first costing 100 Billion pesos before the government can complete the buyout.

The budget for the year 2015 cannot suffice for the MRT3 buyout and the people’s money are really the main point in completing this buyout? And, why the DOTC wanted so much for the MRT3 buyout?

We can give so much opinion for this purpose but the fact remains unclear all the time. It’s for Filipino people and Pnoy Administration to think wisely if the buyout could give positive result in the long run.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Failed Bidding For MRT3 Maintenance, A Sign of Inefficiency? #ExpertWriter

After a long squabble of MRTC and DOTC for the management and operation of MRT3-EDSA, it came to the point that the riding public was very much disgusted with the government ways of solving this issue. Even from the onset of this Build-Lease-Transfer (BLT) Agreement, failure seems to be founded in all direction, by which, series of negative images of people handling this MRT3 contracts are doomed.

The DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya still showing what seems to be his forte in dealing with this MRT3 train system problems. He dictated the mandate of being a leader, but lacks the knowledge of how to give solutions for this never-ending MRT3 saga.

The MRT Holdings and MRTC are more likely the thing of the past. Trying to help the ailing MRT3 train system by which, Robert Sobrepena opened-up his way in uniting with the government for this purpose.

The Senate hearing who conducted the findings of MRT3 story, never give the true worth of eliminating the problems and giving constructive solutions. Instead, the DOTC still, continuing its high hopes of deciphering series of their moves to put forward the MRT3 development.

Another facet of this movement is to perform the bid of companies who are interested in dealing with MRT3 maintenance; interested bidders include DMCI Holdings Incorporated, Miescorrail Incorporated of the Manila Electric Company, Busan Metro of Korea, the joint venture of Mosa - Inekon of Czech Republic, and SMRT International Pte. Ltd.

The government deferred the bids submission twice, last October 13 and 28 of 2014 in which failure showed overtime for DOTC. Interested companies for this bidding cannot comprehend the DOTC’s ruling. Some of the concerns raised by prospective bidders were the amount of penalties to be imposed by the government on the maintenance contractor for certain violations, plus the key performance indicators (KPIs) to be delivered. In fact interested businessmen knew the dilapidated situation of MRT3 platform and yet, the new rulings for bidders are far more realistic in nature.

There’s no doubt that the DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya was not able to project the outcome of this failed bidding that constitute the effectiveness of his decision-making strategy; how and when to do such positive moves while he’s busy promoting the presidential bid of Mar Roxas. Why not concentrate fully for the transportation problems especially the MRT3 and LRT which needs constant monitoring and development?

The government must review the terms of reference for the 3-year maintenance contract due to the issues raised by the prospective bidders which is set to republish the new terms and conditions. And, rebidding ensues this month as what the DOTC reported. It prefers a longer maintenance contract to replace the current maintenance provider Autre Porte Technique Global Incorporated (APT) and its local partner, Global Incorporated.

The longer this bidding process for the selected maintenance provider, the longer it takes to facilitate the movement of the MRT3 development. The The Department of Transportation and Communications DOTC Secretary should maintain the efficiency and effectiveness of his mandate to instill the train system for the good of the riding public and the Filipinos as a whole.

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