September 14, 2019
Commuter groups have called for the investigation of the P18.8-billion Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT 3) rehabilitation deal of the government with Japan’s Sumitomo Corp.
Sammy Malunes, lead convenor and spokesman of Riles Network, told reporters the agreement was questionable, along with the government securing a loan from the Japan International
Cooperation Agency for the restoration of the railway along EDSA, when there was an existing build-lease-transfer (BLT) agreement with the Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC).
This was supported by RJ Javellana of the United Filipino Consumers and Commuters, who claimed MRTC — a consortium of seven Filipino-owned firms — should be the one to cough up funds.
“Aside from it being prohibitive, taxpayers and the riding public’s money are being spent on an undertaking that is not supposed to be shouldered by government as the private consortium who
built the MRT 3 system should be the one to the charge, and undertake the rehabilitation as stipulated in the BLT agreement forged between the government and the Sobrepeña-led group,” Javellana said, referring to MRT Holdings Inc. Chairman Robert John Sobrepeña.
In May, the Department of Transportation handed over the contract, which was sealed last December, to Japanese maintenance providers Sumitomo Corp., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and TES Philippines, signaling the start of the 43-month rehabilitation and maintenance works for MRT 3.
The deal involves the restoration/upgrade of all the sub-systems of the MRT 3, including trackworks, signaling system, power supply system, overhead catenary system, communications system, and maintenance and station equipment.
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