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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 As all the terms in those prior agreements were superseded by the provisions of the BLT Agreement.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.

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