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The Department of Transportation and Communication Secretary Emilio Abaya has ample guts to proceed with his planned strategies to complete the buyout as per his latest announcement of Department Order for train mass transportation in Metro Manila. His confidence coupled by the Pnoy Administration support made him the focus of so many disappointments coming from different sectors of the society.

The Pnoy Administration’s truly involved and believed the same way as he did. Moreover, he has the support for this MRT3 endeavor all along.

Even in the onset of the MRT3 circus from the past, he maintained his structured goals to claim the ownership of the MRT3-EDSA train system for a complete buyout. The MRT Holdings open suggestions and Senate findings cannot stop him to continue the buyout.

Moreover, the Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya has the option to select better understanding and teamwork with MRT Holdings while maintaining the business interest of the co-owner. But, he’s focused in completing the MRT3 buyout through the release of 2015 budget. “The government buyout of MRT-3, the rail line along EDSA, is still the most advantageous arrangement for riders and taxpayers. Some people are out to derail this plan because they want to continue making money. The allocation of more than P6 billion for the purchase of the remaining bonds of MRT Corp. (MRTC) could be the key to such an option. The P6 billion is part of the P54 billion the House of Representatives has included in the P2.606-trillion 2015 national budget for the state takeover-buyout of MRT-3 next year. Senators deleted the bulk of the P54- billion appropriations. They retained a small part, including P6 billion intended for buying the remaining 15-16 percent of MRTC bonds floated by private investors who built the EDSA rail line system. Two state banks – Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) – now hold more than 80 percent of such bonds. The two banks control MRTC, which owns MRT-3.

If the government is able to buy all of MRTC bonds, it should own the EDSA rail line and rehabilitate it without interference from the remaining private investors. The private investors MRT Holdings claim that the government, by holding MRTC bonds, owns only economic interests, including revenues, while they, the investors, have ownership rights over the system that produce such revenues.

Economic rights and owner- ship rights are one and the same thing, because when the contract between the government and private investors end in 2015, both of these rights and interests will accrue to the state. By then, the state will own the system. The private investors would have no stake at all in MRT-3 after the expiration of the contract.

The failure to match fare adjustments with increasing operating costs caused by inflation have resulted in practically break-even finances for all three lines. In turn, this crippled their ability to invest in large-scale improvements for their facilities, since revenues have only been enough for day-to-day operational requirements. Since government subsidizes around 60 percent of the cost for each LRT-1 and LRT-2 passenger and around 75 percent of each MRT-3 passenger, an estimated P2 billion would be freed up for development projects and relief operations in other parts of the country.

It’s really very hard to impose such fare hike when MRT3 had the negative image for train commuters and the Filipinos alike. Imagine, series of breakdowns were experienced in the past and the security dangled like the Spanish chorizo in the supermarket? There’s no such thing to implement when the MRT3 operations, management and services are in the verge of collapse.

But, DOTC Jun Abaya has been armored to defend what’s good for the commuters without the business interest of some but the economic interest of the Philippines.


The MRT3 buyout would mean to the Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abayato move forward its long time plan. This plan was delayed due to the fact that the 2015 budget’s nearer to the end. That large sum of money will only redeem MRT bonds now being held by GFIs. In other words, they would just move money from one government pocket to the other, something they are already doing now with the lease payments.

There is a need to point out the difference between equity rights (which belongs to MRTH) and economic rights (that the GFIs hold through the bonds). The original owners MRTHoldings sold their economic rights (the rights to the lease payments of government) when they floated their bonds. But they retain their equity or ownership rights over the MRT 3 rails, trains, etc. which Bob Sobrepena’s using his antics to influence some senators.

When DOTC says the two biggest investors in MRT 3 are Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), they are talking about economic rights. Indeed, the two state banks hold up to 80 percent of MRT bonds and income arising from the bonds, but the banks still do not own the MRT3 system. They have still to unite with each other to be in tune with the future development.

The beginnings of this MRT3 endeavors are not perfect the way it’s showing from which the maintenance provider were removed by the DOTC. From the onset of this MRT3, the private investors and the government were squabbling for the operations and management, in which, the government were bombarded by the media, political enemies and the Filipino people. While the private investors swayed to the back side of the fence.

Now that the government was trying to eliminate problems in MRT3, the Bob Sobrepena came out in media about helping the DOTC which could minimize the money involved. In fact the series of Senate hearing meant for MRT Holdings to reach out to Senators the following:

1. That they are willing to do the upgrade and capacity expansion, or even a buyout, if only DOTC would talk to them.

2. Gave a new proposal that would fully rehabilitate the rail system and all 73 rail cars for under $100M or about P4.5 billion, totally private sector financed. MRT Holdings II chairman Robert John L. Sobrepena confirmed the offer to Sec Jun in a letter dated Nov. 11, 2014.

3. DOTC could at best only rehabilitate 25 cars for P2.5 billion under chop chop contracts. Anyway, P4.5 billion to let the private sector owners rehabilitate MRT 3 is a long way from the P54 billion DOTC is asking for, which does not even include rehabilitation.

The offer of the private owners of MRT 3 to rehabilitate the system is interesting or they just only stopping the MRT3 buyout of DOTC? It entails no government funds and the fare would be no higher than what is being charged by the buses running at grade level. The private owners want to operate the system this time because as they pointed out, government has proven itself incompetent to properly operate MRT 3. Are they incompetent because of the maintenance problems caused by the incompetent workers?

The most important part of the proposal is to reinstate the single point of responsibility principle. MRTC wants to undertake the maintenance, rehabilitation, and upgrading of the MRT-3 System under one contract managed by the former maintenance provider ---Sumitomo Corporation.

MRTC is promising that “the maintenance would not just include corrective measures, but also preventive maintenance and asset management plan as recommended by the MTR Hong Kong in its preliminary audit report. The rehabilitation would include the immediate procurement of spare parts, replacement of broken and deteriorated rail tracks, and other works necessary to rehabilitate the MRT-3 system as recommended by MTR Hong Kong.”

Without prejudice to the pending arbitration proceedings brought about by DOTC’s decision to procure new trains from China, MRTC agreed to ensure that the commissioning and eventual operations of the 48 new LRVs would be seamless. But final acceptance of the Chinese LRVs also depends on compatibility with the technical specifications of the MRT-3 system.

Wow, a promising statement of the century coming from Bob Sobrepena of the MRT Holdings who never failed us to surprise with his business dealings; CAP, CJHDevCo and MRT Holdings. For sure, readers, you know him?


Government Really Wants to Buy the MRT3 Completely? #ViralInternetLinks

What transpired in the past for this MRT3 buyout really gave much headache to our leaders and all the Filipinos alike. Even the businessmen, workers and media people were squabbling for money that was intended for this transaction.

The 2015 budget that’s been allocated cannot conform to the whole and complete MRT3 buyout of the government, in which, the taxpayer’s money could be extended for it’s not enough even though the government’s trying its best to push through this buyout.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said that a 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.

It’s really known that this buyout needs the approval of MRT Holdings for any transaction by the government. But this talk never happened as what Bob Sobrepena’s expected. The government allotted P56 billion for the EVBO following Executive Order 126 issued by President Benigno Aquino III in February 2013. (An EVBO is a right given to MRTC in case the government is unable to fulfill its obligations.) 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.

The Senate approved such fund through adding the 2015 budget for maintenance and development of MRT3 system, but not for the buyout. The DOTC wanted for the buyout to be completed, in which, they needed another 100 billion pesos for the bonds. The implementation of the equity value buyout (EVBO) of Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC) could start in the first week of January, with the House of Representatives set to approve the P53.9-billion budget for the government’s takeover within the month.

But to effectiveness of the buyout, the government and MRT Corp. (MRTC), the private concessionaire of the train system, must enter into a compromise agreement first. But, through the compromise agreement with the MRTC, the Department of Transportation Commission (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Abayashould initiate such meeting to put forward of this plans. Entering into a compromise contract would effectively end the ongoing arbitration case in Singapore. The case was lodged against the government in 2008 due to its failure, as the operator of the line, to pay billions of rentals payment to the owner of the rail system.

The reason why the government really wants to buy the MRT3 completely is to have a controlled train system for the riding public. The management, operations and development of MRT3 will have a continuous effect to the government revenues than giving it to private institution. But the fact remains, the government couldn’t complete the whole MRT3 buyout because of funding. That’s why they practiced the delaying tactics for the last 6 months until the 2015 budget will save them. The projected budget came short that they needed money for complete buyout. Likewise, the government has not even consulted with Metro Rail Transit Holdings and formally to talk about the buyout.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other blog:OFW: THIS IS MY LIFE AND STORY Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.


Social Listening and the Art of Conversation #ViralInternetLinks

To know what is being said about your brand everyday in the social sphere, marketers are harnessing the power of social listening to identify newer business opportunities. If you do social listening, you can tell your brand’s story effectively on various social media platforms and see it expanding. The social media metrics help you:

1. Determine whether or not your brand is heard successfully across multiple platforms
2. Get acquainted with your customers and ensure customer satisfaction
3. Evaluate your marketing efforts and their performance/non-performance
4. Schematize better activities in social sphere to enhance your brand’s presence
5. Lend an ear to what you should know about social listening and how it can be made profitable for your brand.

“The art of conversation lies in listening.” –Malcom Forbes

What is Social Listening

Social listening helps to know how users perceive your brand and also if they are avoiding it.

Social listening is one of the few effective techniques to get insights into your brand’s presence in the market. There are many repeated conversations on social networks that can be significant to evaluate a brand’s performance/non-performance/under-performance in social sphere. Customers share their understanding of brand(s), reveal about their buying experience and the utility of the products/services with other online users.

It’s here where the brands and marketers can derive maximum value from their existing or future customers’ two-way conversations. Brands can understand what is being said in their absence and devise new product or marketing strategies/policies to deliver a better experience for their customers.

Here are some direct benefits you can expect from social listening.

1. Get real time insights into customers’ opinions.
2. Measure brand sentiments.
3. Get early opinions on changing customer trends.
4. Get product insights and integrate them with sales strategy.
5. Reach out proactively to customers and address their issues.
6. Join real time conversations and expand your reach.
7. Make social engagement strong and efficient.
8. Keep tabs on the competition.
9. Re-formulate your efforts to improve.
10. Why Social Listening is Important

It may perhaps sound comic, but isn’t really. Dissatisfied customers are coming to social media to voice their views and annoyance on a product/service. It can be damaging for a brand to ignore it. What can be done for this? Probably, “pay attention to what is all being said on social networks,” recommends Brad Shimmin, principal analyst at Current Analysis Inc.

Social listening integrates both social media monitoring and unified communications. Social media monitoring means keeping tabs on market insights, tracking customer conversations, their feedback and criticism. According to Shimmin, “Social listening is important for understanding deeper customer insights, and is considered helpful for effective engagement with them.”

Social Listening: It’s Now Or Never

Customers have a voice on social networks. You should be listening to them, without fail.

Brands should pay heed to their customers’ voices and be able to mediate and take suitable measures. Twitter and Facebook offer several options to measure customer feedback in real time. You can monitor customer support forums and analyze conversations about your brand, as well as of your competitors. The new insights can be helpful to improve your business and deliver good customer services.

The following five steps tell you about how to get real social insights.

1. Stop, Look & Listen

Don’t miss out on this! Listen to all conversations. Gaze carefully at what your customers are saying on major social networks and use them for your brand and product development. For example, give information to your customers when they are seeking to know more about a product.

2. Reach Out & Connect

Join up online conversations and connect with your customers. Share your thoughts to establish faith between your brand and customers.

3. Foster Customer Satisfaction

You should be able to respond to diverse customer reactions. Transform their experiences into reality by addressing their concerns. If possible, set up a social customer service program.

4. Drive Conversions

Use right content to raise sales prospects. Assess the impact of your campaigns by knowing the audience response. You should understand customers’ buying indications and reach out to them.

5.Create Helpful Content

Consider preparing helpful content for your audience. This should aim at helping them at various stages of buying, such as general instructions, guidance, product launch, repeat purchase, special offers, advocacy, testimonials, etc.

Simple Ways to Make Social Listening Better

You know how important social listening is to run two-way conversations to promote online presence of your brand. Consider the following ways to make social listening a better technique to capture mentions of your brand.

Identify Online Communities: It is not easy to monitor your accounts on different social channels and keep a track of all conversations. Therefore, locate communities — such as your competitors, industry, etc. — where people are talking about similar products and services. You should join them and interact with them by talking about their product needs.

Identify Online Volunteers: You can identify your online brand admirers who can help in your endeavor. They can share your brand information in the online communities on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.

Make Improvements: It is important that you not just do social listening, but also improve strategies for your product development. Your customers can say a lot of not-so-nice things about your brand. You got to listen up and make necessary changes. This helps to improve brand loyalty and boost ROI.

Tools for Social Listening

Google Alerts: It is the most inexpensive social listening tool to get real time insights into web, news, etc., based on your queries. It notifies you each time your brand name gets a mention.

HootSuite: More than a social relationship platform, HootSuite is a popular user-friendly social media listening tool, where you can monitor and measure multiple social media accounts to get real time analytics. It informs you about someone even mentioning your brand.

Salesforce: Earlier known as Radian6, Salesforce is a useful tool for marketing professionals in getting real time charts and helpful data to drive business results.

Social Mention: This is a fast real-time social media search and analysis tool to monitor latest online comments, blogs, videos, and other updates about your brand.

The Takeaway

The social networks are becoming a hub of customers’ continuous communication. Customers share their online viewpoints via comments, likes, reviews, blogs, videos, pictures, etc., and rate brands and their products. Listen to real-time customer conversations on social networks for business promotion and hone-in on sales opps.

Source: Alan Smith @SpinxWebDesign and Clickfire


The one-month extended maintenance contract of Autre Potre Technique Global Inc. (APT) would likely be extended until a new maintenance contract is awarded because no bidders showed up last October 28, 2014. The DOTC announced that the rebidding will take place next month after reviewing some of the rules to be considered.

In the first place, why the interested bidders are not totally inclined to the DOTC rules? The main concerns of the bidders are on the contract’s provisions on penalties and performance inductors which could not be realistically follow by them. Bidders have the right of not showing up because of the fact it’s not at all quality-wise rules. The penalty could not sustain the revenue and responsibilities of a maintenance provider when worst-comes-to-worst.

What more can maintenance provider could suffice to gain the dilapidated situation of MRT3 train system? It’s like working with the government with no monetary value whatsoever.

The five prospective bidders were Busan Transport Corp., Mosan-Inekon Phils Ltd. Co., SMRT International Pte Ltd., Miescorrail ,Inc., and D.M. Consunji, Inc. These bidders are interested and willing to be a government partner as long as, the company’s increasing its revenues. Likewise, they are businessmen who for some reason or the other, wanted to be awarded.

Controversies in the past deformed the very essence of MRT3 maintenance image. Some political watchers questioned the delay in the awarding of the contract because of the following negative action before.

(1) The alleged $30-million extortion try of former MRT-3 General Manager Al S. Vitangcol III with Czech firm Inekon Group for the purchase of new trains.

(2) The PH Trams Corp. involved in a pending case before the Office of the Ombudsman did not buy the bid documents for the new contract. But Filipinos didn’t believe for this reason.

The government is now reviewing the terms of reference of the three-year maintenance contract due to the issues raised by prospective bidders and set to republish the new terms and conditions by next month to pave the way for the rebidding.

The rebidding could be determined by which the DOTC can instill new rules that could be applicable to all bidders. Interested bidders could imply such notion to the DOTC terms and conditions, but with the review process at hand. Each bidder wants to be awarded and the willingness to cooperate with the government through the initiative of The Department of Transportation and Communications DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya. He should focus for the upcoming rebidding next month, not for early campaigning in 2016 election of Mar Roxas.

Another reason could be that the contract price was not competitive for the bidders. The government must reconfigure the risk profile to make it more attractive to bidders.

Looking forward for the next bidding and hoping for bidders to show their worth.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other blog:OFW: THIS IS MY LIFE AND STORY Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.


The DOTC Is Very Confident For MRT3 Equity Buyout? #ViralInternetLinks

What will happen now that the DOTC Secretary is very much confident about the MRT3 buyout? That the 2015 budget will be used for this purpose?

Last, September 2014, the DOTC Secretary spread the word with finality and conviction. He answered all the queries that the Filipino people, media, and politically inclined individuals; even though train breakdowns are making negative image to the present administration.

Even MRTC’s Bob Sobrepena opened up to the media about the true status of MRT Holdings and the DOTC. Secretary Jun Abaya defended his decision-making techniques why he has done such actions.

The DOTC is acting to the best of his knowledge but in fact he’s applying the delaying tactics until the budget for 2015 will be approved. As such, he could buy the remaining bonds to its private counterpart. Likewise, the completion of MRT3 ownership is needed for upgrading the development of MRT3-EDSA. Thus, the operations and management will be only for the government. But for the government, the acquisition budget is the rightful price for the takeover, as computed through the formula provided in the 25-year build-lease-transfer (BLT) contract.

The The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretay Jun Abaya has higher confidence to say, “There is a fixed formula in the BLT, which also provides how to execute the buyout; so there is no room for negotiations. We are buying everything out, including the bonds and the remaining equity interest in private hands. The objective, at the end of the day, is for the government to own 100 percent of the MRT3 line.

MRTC is owned by MRT Holdings II Inc., which, in turn, is owned by MRT Holdings Inc. The government, meanwhile, holds an 80-percent economic interest in MRTC, by virtue of the bonds that the state bought from the private concessionaire.

So, the DOTC Secretary’s playing the game of chance when he totally spread the word of MRT3 buyout. Is he actually sincere of this buyout, or his intention - to buy the remaining bonds from the 2015 budget? The implementation of the equity value buyout (EVBO) of Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC) could start in the first week of January, with the House of Representatives set to approve the P53.9-billion budget for the government’s takeover within the month.

But to effectiveness of the buyout, the government and MRT Corp. (MRTC), the private concessionaire of the train system, must enter into a compromise agreement first. But, through the compromise agreement with the MRTC, the DOTC should initiate such meeting to put forward of this plans. Entering into a compromise contract would effectively end the ongoing arbitration case in Singapore. The case was lodged against the government in 2008 due to its failure, as the operator of the line, to pay billions of rentals payment to the owner of the rail system.

However, the DOTC and MRTC must agree with the terms of the acquisition, which includes the price of the takeover.

How about if the MRTC will not approve for this buyout? Is there another story for the DOTC’s side?

As always, let’s wait and see.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other blog:OFW: THIS IS MY LIFE AND STORY Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.


MRT3 Shutdown Is Feasible or Not? #ViralInternetLinks

To ease passengers' suffering caused by recurring breakdowns of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT3), its key stakeholders are in agreement over a possible temporary shutdown of the line. The DOTC should initiate quick plans and moves to put forward the MRT temporary shutdown. I am in favor for this shutdown than carrying loads of problems may incur at the present situation. Talks and agreements should be formalized between the MRTC, DOTC and MRT II Holdings.

It’s a fact that both parties should follow the Buy-Lease-Transfer (BLT) Agreement to the best of their knowledge and capabilities to enhance the MRT3 renovation and development; depending on the initiatives of both parties to compromise the agreement in which every facet of works and management for the temporary MRT3 shutdown. Their prowess and resources should unify for the good of the common citizens.

The The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya had said the management of MRT3 hasn't endorsed a shutdown of its operations despite a series of breakdowns in recent weeks.

Lately, the government has pushed back the bidding for the maintenance contract of the MRT3. In a general bid bulletin, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said the deadline for the submission and opening bids for the P2.2-billion three-year contract has been deferred to October 28. The deadline originally fell on October 17. The agency said the extension aims to allow prospective bidders to prepare competitive tenders. The DOTC did not identify the potential bidders.

At the present situation wherein, the maintenance provider APT Global must be hired until the bidding process is over.

Nevertheless, sustainable program is required in pursuing the plan of renovation. Likewise, all concerned people for this endeavor should devout their precious time, energy and know-how to finish on time. Every angle of MRT3 operations and management should be planned and study very carefully to avoid mistakes, even projecting ahead of 10 years at most.

While breakdowns are showing the APT Global must do their best to eliminate such damage until the new maintenance provider is selected. There’s nothing wrong if the DOTC should initiate the operation of MRT3 at present, but it’s a must to talk it over to MRTC’s Manager Bob Sobrepena. The whole process maybe short of some minor things but at the end of the day, the relationship is sealed slowly.

There are more things to reconsider by the DOTC to put forward the total service to the riding public. In fact, MRTCs businessmen are opening up their desire to support this MRT3 problem and until the development phase. Only that, the DOTC Secretary is not keen with his decision-making strategy in giving enough thoughts beforehand. He bolted such arguments in Senate hearing that the past negotiation is a failure.

Again, I am with the MRT3 shutdown as long as conflict should be compromised by both parties. It should drive the Filipinos to respect their governance when leaders show their capabilities in giving solution with dignity for the common good. It’s not for them to apply their personal interest but to lead by their good intention to serve the country and its people.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other blog:OFW: THIS IS MY LIFE AND STORY Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.


MRT3 Senate Hearing: Will Problems Be Solved? #ViralInternetLinks

What will be the outcome of the latest senate hearing wherein the DOTC and MRTC are spreading the truth? Will it give positive result for the riding public or another battle is coming?

The senators present in the hearing know how to throw punches to the DOTC Secretary Emilio Abaya with a twists. It’s a questioning that makes Jun Abaya releases his ever-ready answers; defending his stature that always been amazingly correct. Is he telling the truth?

If The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Jun Abaya had done his part excellently last 2012, wherein he terminated the contract of Sumitomo Corporation – the maintenance provider of MRT3 train system – maybe, train breakdowns are not possible today. And because Sumitomo increased its service rates from $1.4 million a month to $2 million, prompting DOTC to terminate deal with the Japanese contractor.

Likewise, because of this contract termination and a quickie action to engage PH Trams as maintenance provider of MRT3, it makes the problem comes closer to a more train system breakdowns until now under APT Global.

At the senate hearing, MRTC’s Bob Sobrepe├▒a pointed out those problems only arose after the DOTC terminated the contract and Sumitomo had a "single point responsibility" to design, build, and maintain the trains. The Sumitomo handled everything including parts and service. Nothing else has to be bought by the government or the private sector. He defended the company, saying Sumitomo really needed additional funds to overhaul the trains.

MRTC repeatedly proposed the procurement of new trains as early as 1999, but the government failed to act on its proposals. The last proposal to the government was in 2007, but since all of these were not acted upon, we reiterated another proposal to provide 48 cars, capacity expansion, upgrade of the MRT-3 system, in 2007. At this year, the DOTC began to question us as to why we were buying new cars. The Department of Transportation and Communications had begun to request for second-hand trains, instead of new ones. MRTC do not approve for the second hand coaches for the reason of incompatibility.

The Senate hearing was prompted by various resolutions seeking shed light on why train breakdowns are more pronounced as months passed by. The truth came out through MRTC Bob Sobrepena’s when asked about the status of MRT3. He deliberately told the senators that DOTC was violating the Build-Lease-Transfer (BLT) Agreement that the MRT Holdings filed an arbitration case in Singapore.

The latest news at present is that MRT3-EDSA will be closed for renovation of the whole train system. The works must be done daily with 100% workers participation. While engineering and maintenance people will put forward for this purpose.

The DOTC and MRTC must jointly provide help with this plan to uplift the MRT3 train system for the good of the riding public. Maybe, this is the time that the fare will increase to augment with the new development. Moreover, this can be applied, but there are still Filipinos who will not approve for this plan. So, the riding public will use buses as their temporary transportation along EDSA.

Government will find solutions for MRT3 because “for the good of the riding public,” but, if MRTC has other interest and won’t cooperate for this plan?

Let’s wait and see for the continuation of the MRT3 story.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other blog:OFW: THIS IS MY LIFE AND STORY Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.


Blaming each other is not an option for DOTC and MRTC in giving services to the public through the MRT3 train system along EDSA. Likewise, corruption of public officials is not the primary mission in leading the Philippine government.

Majority of Filipinos knows the strategies of some politicians who only valued their vested interest while doing their job in the government. They molded their lives through dealing negatively because of the huge amount of money involves.

There’s a saying that, “Chaos gives bad people to live invisibly or saintly.” For sure, they wanted that way to juggle their ambitions and personalities direct to Hell.

Let’s take a look the case of never-ending chaos brought about by this MRT3 Project along EDSA. The PPP movement is not working here wherein squabbling over the Maintenance and Operation didn’t give positive result to the riding public. It’s really a problematic notion that privatization cannot pursue the course because of public intervention. The MRT3 was originally tasked to MRTC, of course the maintenance of MRT3; the DOTC, over the objections of MRTC, took over the maintenance of MRT3 by selecting, appointing and contracting with its preferred maintenance contractor/s, PH Trams-CB&T and Global-APT, from 2012 onwards.

A recent statement of the MRTC Board indicate that DOTC officials have been lying through their teeth in unduly blaming its private partner for this train system’s fiasco and hiding the fact that this department took over the MRT3 maintenance in 2012. MRTC has written Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) numerous letters about the resulting problems in the operations of MRT3 and demanded an explanation from DOTC. The DOTC has not answered any of those letters. But wasn’t it DOTC which took over the maintenance work in 2012 after dumping longtime contractor Sumitomo and “requested” MRTC to surrender its job of selecting the O&M service provider, after which DOTC awarded an interim contract to an unqualified and undercapitalized company through a negotiated arrangement instead of the mandatory public bidding?

DOTC has totally shut out MRTC from the business of selecting and overseeing the work of MRT3’s O&M operators since 2012, when it surprisingly dumped the train system’s longtime maintenance provider TESP-P/Sumitomo Corp. of Japan in favor of PH Trams-CB&T and, later, APT Global. MRT3’s dismal service started only when PH Trams-CB&T and then APT Global took over from Sumitomo as O&M operators.

MRTC and its mother firm MRT Holdings (MRTH) have actually submitted five capacity-expansion proposals to acquire additional LRVs from the time the DOTC and MRTC sealed their build-lease-transfer agreement in 1999.

DOTC has been accused of violating the original 1999 BLT a number of times. One instance was when it chose PH Trams-CB&T and APT Global as O&M operators along with Dalian Locomotive as LRV supplier, all without prior review and consent from MRTC as provided in the accord. The second one involved non-payment of economic rental payments (ERPs) plus staffing and administrative costs to MRTC, as well as real property taxes (RPT) to host-local government units (LGUs).

MRTC has repeatedly informed the DOTC of its readiness and willingness to purchase additional trains, has told the DOTC of its readiness and willingness to procure the O&M contract after the 2012 expiration of Sumitomo’s contract, has cited the need for a technical audit by an independent third party to assess the safety of the train system; has suggested improvements in the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the O&M contracts awarded to the interim maintenance providers to safeguard the government and riders against foul-ups; and has alerted the DOTC to problems cited by then-outgoing contractor Sumitomo, such as passenger overload and the shortage of spare parts for the train signaling and automated ticket-collection systems, to no avail.

Now we know why DOTC is only now thinking of suing MRTC after years of neglect they are blaming the owner for. It will backfire on them and the true incompetent will be exposed. And here they come claiming they will rescue us by taking over the MRT3. It's all posturing because while they have the money to buy out the government shares that will leave nothing left for private shareholders.

And DOTC executives have to think carefully their plan to sue MRTC. After all, seven of the 11 member members of the board are government officials which means, that government is running the show. Most of the board directors come from Development Bank of the Philippines and the Land Bank of the Philippines, with an LBP director as chairman-president, because these state-run banks own a combined 80-percent economic interest in MRTC.

We should always defend people who manage the Philippine resources and extend total services for the good of all Filipinos. The political arena is not a milking cow for politicians. We should erase the bad elements in the political system and penalize people who are not serving our country. They only survive in getting wealth through government contracts.

We cannot achieve development until these dirty politicians and corruptions are removed from our political system. The past gave much misery to Filipino people; it’s our turn to straighten up for good of the majority.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other blog:OFW: THIS IS MY LIFE AND STORY Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.


Bob Sobrepena Message To All Filipinos: This Is The Truth #ViralInternetLinks

Now that Bob Sobrepena’s out in the open in heralding the ownership of MRT3 train system, should a reply is needed from DOTC to clear things out? Let’s wait and see for this “drama of the decade” to unfold something interesting here.

But, if the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) won’t give any reply and still keeping Bob Sobrepena out of the loop? Or, still, the planned buyout of MRT3’s on-going and working it out to finalize other entities for this endeavor? Maybe, the DOTC needed an ample time to prove why they’re doing this to MRTC; because of the case in Singapore, iron-out MRT3 management and services, waiting for new coaches and gaining more than 80% of the economic interests in MRTC.

According to Bob Sobrepena, “While government bought 80% of the economic interests in MRTC, it is not the same thing as buying ownership of the train system. The original private investors, through MRT Holdings, comosed of Fil-Estate group of the Sobrepena’s, Ayala Land, Anglo Phil Holdings, Ramcar Inc, Greenfield Development Corp, Antel Land Holdings and DBH Inc. still claim to be the ones who own the train system. MRT Holdings still own shares of MRTC and even managed to sue the government over the purchase of new trains.

The media interview of Bob Sobrepena tells something positive about the future of MRT3 or just reaching out the DOTC about privatization and pushing the PPP of the government? For sure, the government’s watching this interview.

It’s a fact that Bob Sobrepena still favors the privatization because Fil-Estate group of the Sobrepena’s at the MRT Holdings. His intention to open up publicly is to reach out the government of MRT Holdings position in the MRT3 ownership. In addition, because the DOTC didn’t recognize him starting in the year 2012 or maybe because, he sued the government for not following the BLT Agreement? That’s why the string was broken between them? In the first place, both the government and the private investors are to blame for the woes faced by commuters. Over the years, the BLT contract and the privatization policy have caused unbearable burden on commuters and taxpayers. The truly sad part is that government, while seeking to “buy-out” the MRT, still seeks to privatize it eventually, bringing us back to where we started. And why the government has a plan to this? How about continuing the buyout and uplifting the MRT3 services of the taxpayers? Government must not stopped on its role of providing total service to the public, even though Filipinos continue to call on government to stamp out corruption within its operations.

For the betterment of our country, the government must have leaders to lead good example and can do their jobs excellently for the service to the people. This MRT3 problem could be avoided, even at the onset of the project, when everybody only follows the etiquette of dealing government business contracts.

I attached the media interview of Bob Sobrepena by Ms. Karen Davila of ABS-CBN for total understanding of the subject matter.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other blog:OFW: THIS IS MY LIFE AND STORY Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.


Public Hearing on MRT Incident And Continuous Train System Breakdowns #ViralInternetLinks

After the Senate hearing last September 1, 2014 was about the derailment of train coaches last August 13, 2014, and, was looking into the constant train breakdowns which caused the riding public to question the management of MRT3. Being said, that the probe makes the government officials to extend their strategy by way of interpolating the suggestions done by the Senators.

Some of the concerned political people are questioning the integrity of the present maintenance company that won the bidding through the effort of former MRT3 Manager Al Vitangcol and Wilson T. de Vera. The said contract was allegedly and totally manipulated even the company had not enough funds in maintaining this kind of train system at MRT3.

The DOTC entered into a negotiated procurement to replace Sumitomo. It hired the Philippine Trams Rail Management and Services Corp. (PH Trams) and Comm Builders and Technology Inc. (CB&T) joint venture as interim maintenance provider for a monthly service fee of $1.15 million. The existing maintenance provider Global Autre Porte Technique won the bidding for the one-year maintenance contract worth P712.7-million which raised the eyebrows of politically inclined groups.

The MRTC, as owner of the MRT3 system, should be the one to hire the maintenance service provider and government’s role under the build-lease-transfer agreement is to pay for the service. The MRTC hired Japanese firm Sumitomo Corp. to maintain the MRT3 system for its first 10 years and its contract was extended for two years. Sumitomo Corp., which built the MRT3 system, reportedly charged the government $2.1 million on a monthly basis.

And, MRTC as owners, the trains should be maintained properly. If they are maintained properly, they will run properly. When it was Sumitomo that maintained it for 12 years, it was already servicing 500,000 commuters a day . The waiting time was fine and the lines are short. But at present, commuters did sacrifice for their way of life through the unwanted decision-making of DOTC Secretary Emilio Abaya which for sure, doesn’t have enough expertise to manage the MRT3-EDSA .

The DOTC and MRTC were moving in separate directions which resulted to damage the image of the whole management. Because of its negative image done by MRT3 Manager Al Vitangcol and Wilson T. de Vera, the present situation became worst and continuously damages the whole operation. At that time, there’s a scarcity of “technically competent and financially capable” contractors since the government took on the role of bidding out the maintenance contract in 2012, in which, the resulted outcome has been appearing all the time.

Because of the Senate hearing feedbacks to DOTC Secretary, government’s eventual plan of privatizing the operation and maintenance of the MRT3 system is preventing the DOTC from bidding out a longer maintenance contract.

Their purpose could be shown with all their actions to carry out the full services intended for the riding public and to erase the negative aspects of their management at MRT3.

Another bid must be carried out by the DOTC, but other government officials were against by their action. Instead they wanted the MRTC to do the contract because of the BLT Agreement.

What will happen for the next chapter of the MRT3 story? Is there another hearing for former MRT3 Manager Al Vitangcol and Wilson T. de Vera? Let’s wait and see.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other blog:OFW: THIS IS MY LIFE AND STORY Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.


DOTC Or MRTC, Who's To Blame For The MRT3 Train System Breakdowns? #ViralInternetLinks

The breakdown problems of MRT3 train system continued to appear in every facets of its operation along EDSA. Last Saturday, August 23, due to a breakdown of its radio communications system and compelled to suspend the operations. The technical issue comes over a week after the derailing of an MRT3 train reportedly caused by human error, and is the latest in a long line of problems hounding the train system operations.

These breakdowns damaged the image of DOTC as compared to MRTC according to the perception of some Filipinos who didn’t even know what was happening behind the management of MRT3.

The riding public always on the lookout asking for the total service coming from MRT3 management in which, the MRTC should do their share of maintaining the train system. Besides, the government, through the DOTC appeared to tackle the problems in the eyes of the media and all the Filipino people.

For the time being, while the DOTC’s planning for the buyout, and making every move to compromise with its decision, the government must organize an agreement with MRTC for its proper renewal of terms or other ways to iron-out problems.

According to the history of this project, the Philippines subsidiary of Metro Rail, Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC), was formed for the purpose of designing, constructing, testing, commissioning, and maintaining the EDSA Rail Transit III, Phase-1 system. An Accession Undertaking and an Assignment and Assumption Agreement was executed which gave MRTC all rights and obligations to the Project agreements during the debt repayment period and establish MRTC as the Project borrowing entity.

The Build-Lease-Transfer (BLT) Agreement which governs the relationship of Department of Transportation and Commission (DOTC) and Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC) in building the said MRT3 Project. As all the terms in those prior agreements were superseded by the provisions of the BLT Agreement.

Their relationship was damaged when MRTC filed an arbitration case against the government in Singapore court because of non-payment of rentals, in which, according to MRTC, DOTC’s obligation to pay the rent in regards to BLT Agreement.

The government said, it has paid MRTC P35.2 billion since 2000. And since that time, MRTC did not provide new coaches or upgraded some train systems because the government through DOTC did not pay its rent promptly while the maintenance of the train system was in the verged of collapse up to this day.

The DOTC and MRTC couldn’t do much for the time being but to compromise their position in binding agreement to carry out their obligations to give excellent service to the riding public. Their relationship’s not a hindrance in developing the train system for the good of everyone.

The MRT3-EDSA needs maintenance experts and trained employees in forwarding the train operations. This case does not need total management of the government, but a joint relationship is needed between MRTC and DOTC. They will unite their expertise in prolonging the mission of this project to the Filipino people.

While the government plans to acquire the management of the MRT3 and compromising other facets of the agreement with MRTC, the government awarded a P3.8-billion ($86.7 million) contract to Chinese company CNR Dalian Locomotive & Rolling Stock Company of China to supply of 48 new light rail vehicles for MRT 3 in which MRTC filed another case for not letting the MRTC to deal with contracts. The DOTC has no right to acquire railway facilities for MRT3 alone, but it’s the obligation of MRTC to deal with, according to BLT Agreement.

So, the government must hasten its move to deal with different facets of the problems with regards to MRT3 operations, deals, contracts, agreements, financial, maintenance and management.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other blog:OFW: THIS IS MY LIFE AND STORY Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.


DOTC Secretary Abaya: MRT3 Mishap Due To Drivers Error #ViralInternetLinks

Is it true that they connected and locked the coupling properly? If it’s locked, they were doing the right procedures? Is there a coupler’s mechanical failure? Or, the driver’s forgot about the downward slope?

Today, DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya announced to the media that the two train drivers, James Duque, Heigen Villacarlos, control center personnel Joey Diokno and at least one other employee will be charged administratively. They failed to follow protocol when a southbound MRT train stalled past the Magallanes station on Wednesday afternoon last week.

It’s James Duque who drove the train that stalled because of insufficient power. The MRT control center’s solution through Joey Diokno was to order another train, driven by Heigen Villacarlos, to come to the rescue by pushing Duque’s train forward to the next station.

As what the instruction of the control center, Heigen Villacarlos – the driver who manned the second train – attached the coupling mechanisms of the two trains, and it was disconnected from the operational train that was pushing it.

DOTC Secretary said, “After attaching the coupling mechanisms of the two trains which was not part of the procedure, Heigen Villacarlos cranked it after it engaged. Once you have engaged [the two trains], do not touch the coupling the mechanism 'cause cranking could actually decouple the mechanism.

Abaya said the two coupled trains reached a speed of 40 kilometers per hour, much faster than the hauling speed limit of just 15 kilometers per hour. The speed record came from the black box of the rescue train. He said the stalled train had no power and its black box also couldn't record such data.

"Human error" is either due to poor training or unclear policy. Both training and policy generation is the responsibility of management. So, management is still liable for not ensuring that their drivers are certified and trained properly and clearly understand the SOP's on public safety during incident like this.

Moreover, the responsibility lies with the Head Management to check and recheck their manpower status. DOTC would conduct a more rigid training session for drivers. The DOTC will also have “audit” teams that will conduct spot checks on drivers, to ensure that they have proper mastery of emergency procedures. These awareness, training or readiness is the focus of Secretary Abaya not commenting non-sense, "Riding is a personal decision. I won't go of my way to convince people to ride the MRT."

The employees will be charged administratively, but the poor maintenance of the trains added to the human error that was being contributed. They should be focused with the trains maintenance and constant monitoring of its operations.

Before, Metro Pacific (a unit of PLDT) has offered DOTC/government to shoulder all costs including buying new trains and maintaining them because the trains purchased by government are unsafe. But still, the government resumed its operation.

Chinese contractor appointed has zero experience in the construction of light rail vehicles. Train specification and build are missing key safety components necessary to ensure the safety of the riding public. A proper way of maintaining the coasters are truly prioritized in dealing with its good services.

MRTC believes that the untested and incompatible trains may cause damage to the assets of MRT3 and further cause inconvenience to the public. In return of the proposal, Metro Pacific shall increase the public fares of MRT3 (but still cheaper than bus fares) and Metro Pacific will have both gains/losses from the train operations to make them recover their investment in the long run.

Government/DOTC did not respond at all. Only logical reason is they want to use public money instead of considering superior, free alternatives championed by MRTC.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other blog:OFW: THIS IS MY LIFE AND STORY Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.


John Tanyishin is the developer of Work From Home Using Your Computer, providing you with work from home opportunities. He lives in Singapore and currently still a student but is looking actively for passive income. You can grab free ebooks here and receive tips as well and visit Go Articles

So What Exactly Is Link Building

To put it simply, link building is the process of getting links from other websites pointing to your website. The more back links your site has, the higher the link popularity.

When done effectively, it creates higher traffic to your website, increases page rank and allows you to rank higher in search engines.

However, link popularity alone doesn't guarantee that you will achieve high rankings in search engines but it is still a critical tactic to get your site indexed and get organic traffic.

There are different types of links that will require different methods of getting them.

Inbound links. These are the links that are appearing on other websites pointing to your site. They are also known as one-way, non-reciprocal links. Some of the common ways of getting them will be through directories submission, blogs, articles submission and press releases. Having high quality inbound links from relevant websites will give your website higher page rank.

Reciprocal links. This means having your website linking to others and the other websites will link to yours in return. They are also known as two-way links. There are many effective websites which provide services to help exchange links with others. Sometimes, they are in a form of automated service where you pay monthly or one-time fee and they help you do the dirty job. Another form will be providing you a community or platform where you trade links with other webmasters. Some experts have commented that this form of linking is of lesser value because major search engines have given lesser credit to it. The experts believe only to exchange links with relevant websites which have high page rank and avoid websites that have adult or illegal content.

Three-way links. This is a method which described in its simplest form will be having website A links to B, B links to C and C links to A. However, this type of linking is usually achieving by done through a third party which requires a fee. By getting your website handled by a reputable service, your website will be well taken care of. Sometimes, this process is automated and requires little effort. Your website will link to others but rest assured that these websites will not be linking back, if not it will be two-way linking. In this way, you are creating another form of one-way links but through a third party.

There are many other link building services available for you to explore but do take note that not all of them provides effective results and some of them may even cause you to be blacklisted by the search engines. Do find out more about them before engaging to their services.

Getting link building services can help you save effort, time and money, when used well it can help you achieve higher results with search engines. Some of the recommended services will be 3waylinks, linkvana and link machine.

The quality of links is important as well, having BBC or MSN pointing to your website carries more weight than links pointing from personal blogs. One way to determine whether the page carries enough weight will be from its page rank. Having a website of page rank 4 linking to your website compared to a website of page rank 1 means creating four times value to your site. So keep focusing on getting links from high page ranked websites.

Link building is a long term strategy to have your website rank higher on search engines. There is a program that you will love to use to see your link popularity, called link popularity check. Try searching for it. You will need to have constant increasing links pointing to your website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other blog:OFW: THIS IS MY LIFE AND STORY Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.