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Sumitomo, Mitsubishi back as MRT3 maintenance providers

Japan and the Philippines are signing a government-to-government agreement before the year ends that will pave the way for Sumitomo Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to take over the maintenance works for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT 3).

“High-level discussions with the Government of Japan are ongoing to pave the way for DOTr’s direct engagement of Sumitomo Corporation and its technical partner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, under a government-to-government (G2G) Official Development Assistance (ODA) platform,” the department said.

The three-year contract will include the rehabilitation and restoration of the mass rail transit system to its original performance standards.

“Sumitomo and Mitsubishi Heavy, as the original MRT3 maintenance contractor, has ‘designed, built, and maintained’ the train line its first 12 years,” the DOTr said.

“DOTr is pushing to have the maintenance and rehabilitation service provider in place by early Q2 2018,” said Transportation Assistant Secretary for Rails Timothy John Batan.

“The main reason for this is the time needed to do a technical review of the system to find out the works that need to be done to restore the system after years of under-investment in preventive maintenance and renewal works,” he said.

Batan noted rehabilitation priorities have yet to be determined during the technical review, which would commence right after the G2G agreement is signed.

The DOTr terminated the contract with Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI) last November 6 for its supposed “failures” in the last 22 months as the MRT 3 maintenance contractor.

“BURI failed to perform its maintenance obligations, both due to its inability to meet the performance indicators in the contract and its failure to procure spare parts,” the department said.

The company did not overhaul the train cars in line with a schedule BURI itself proposed, the DOTr noted, saying only two out of the 43 train coaches were actually overhauled.

“These failures led to the many passenger unloading and train removal incidents during the 22 months that BURI was maintaining MRT 3,” it claimed. 

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