DOTr still considering Sumitomo as MRT maintenance provider

MANILA — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has clarified that Sumitomo Corporation is still being considered as the maintenance provider for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) system.

This as the DOTr is currently involved in discussions with potential and qualified partners that can provide the maintenance requirements of the MRT-3 including Sumitomo Corporation and its technical partner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

“The DOTr has not been advised by Sumitomo Corporation that they have declined to come back as the maintenance service provider for MRT-3. On the contrary, high level discussions are ongoing with potential qualified and experienced partners who can provide the maintenance requirements of MRT-3, including Sumitomo Corporation and its technical partner, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, to MRT-3,” the department said in a press statement Thursday.

“Finding an interim maintenance service provider for MRT-3 in the medium-term, and an operations and maintenance concessionaire in the long-term, are some of the measures that the DOTr is taking to restore MRT-3’s operational reliability for its 500,000 daily riders,” it added.

The DOTr issued the statement after Transportation Assistant Secretary Elvira Medina said in a television interview  that Sumitomo has declined the offer of the government to return as the maintenance service provider of the railway system.

The Transportation Department has terminated its maintenance contract with Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI) last November 6 due to various issues such as poor performance, failure to ensure availability of required number of trains, failure to implement a feasible procurement plan for spare parts and noncompliance with the requirements of a complete and up-to-date Computerized Management System.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade has created a new Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) for the Maintenance Transition Team (MTT) that is temporarily taking over the MRT operations after the maintenance contract with Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI) was terminated earlier this month.

It will procure some critical rehabilitation services and spare parts including, but not limited to, signaling system to cover parts and services; general overhaul of 38 light rail vehicles (LRVs), airconditioned units for passenger riding comfort and total rail replacement.

The department also plans to acquire a technically and financially capable maintenance service provider within three to six months from the government takeover.

The DOTr is looking into a maintenance service contract for 2-3 years from a highly reputable maintenance service provider with a proven track record.Aerol John Pateña/