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For the second time, MRT3 bidding failed in getting participants for maintenance provider which it needed in running the MRT3 rail system. The outcome can never be quantified for sure because there was another scheduled bid as per DOTC announcement. Another rumor is that the government welcomes unsolicited proposals on how to overhaul MRT3, rather than set bidding terms that supposedly hinder much-needed improvements in the system. The MRT3 is the least maintained than LRT1 and LRT2 metro rail system which has undergone much criticism from commuters. Bidding failure means that APT-Global still extended as maintenance provider.

Companies interested to bid for the 10-year contract to operate and maintain the Light Rail Transit (LRT) line 2 have to prove their fitness to join the auction for the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project. The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) expects to receive the qualification documents of prospective bidders after postponing the deadline twice last November 20 and December 15. At least six bidders that have bought pre-qualification documents last year including Light Rail Manila Consortium (LRMC), San Miguel Corp., Marubeni Corp., GT Capital Holdings Inc., D.M. Consunji, Inc., and RATP Development.

For LRT1, the offer of second bidding is scheduled promptly. Under the DOTC’s original timeline, the government targets to notify qualified bidders a month after the deadline of submission of qualification documents. CB&T was extended as LRT-1 maintenance contractor at present. The winning concessionaire of the LRT line 1, LRMC represents Metro Pacific Investment Corp., Ayala’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Inc., and Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure’s Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings Philippines PTE Ltd.

The three mass railway systems had been modified by Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya for strict requirements and implementation even through the bidding process. Likewise, the management and operations lies mainly to DOTC team who control the whole endeavor.

It’s learned that, at present, the DOTC’s also open for the consultancy services for MRT3 under its rehabilitation and capacity expansion projects. The consulting firm would provide assistance and guidance in all matters pertaining to operations and maintenance of the MRT3 and Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA). The consultant would also extend assistance in the conceptualization, implementation, and procurement of any and all programs and projects for MRT3 in an effort to provide a safe, reliable, efficient, convenient, affordable, and efficient mass rail transit system.

Likewise, the DOTC also invited firms to bid for the supply and delivery of 60 units of traction motor for the MRT-3 system Czech-made RT8D5M light rail vehicles (LRVs) worth P91.7 million. Interested bidders are required to have completed a single contract similar to the project within the last 20 years and with a value of at least 50 percent of the project cost. The pre-bid conference for the project is scheduled on February 4. Interested companies are given until February 18 to submit bids. The winning bidder will be tasked to deliver the traction motors including two prototype units as well as pertinent installation and maintenance manuals, and illustrated parts catalogue within 180 calendar days from the issuance of Notice to Proceed.

The DOTC should be ready for another failed bid if possible for MRT3 especially. And why they have to?

For MRT3 first and second bidding for getting maintenance provider failed, there’s a possibility to fail because the DOTC Secretary’s strategy in sustaining APT-Global, until such time that they are getting-used of its workmanship. Besides, the APT-Global maintenance provider people are members of Liberal Party.

Commuters need the rail systems to be in good condition, pleasure to ride, and other developments wherein they can move forward with their daily lives. It’s a must for our leaders to serve our countrymen with dignity, honesty, discipline and determination to succeed.


The latest news is that when there are no bidders for MRT3 maintenance provider, the DOTC will accept direct negotiation with other company. This is another issue for Jun Abaya if his critics will pursue such decision. Likewise, I think, the DOTC Secretary is always ready to answer their doubts.

Majority of the people doubting this fare increases would be siphoned into a huge pork barrel fund to finance public works projects through such schemes as the Disbursement Acceleration Program rather than to improve in the metro rail system to make it more efficient and safer for commuters to travel between their homes and jobs?

Of all the immediate concern for MRT3 commuters is safe travel on the trains from point and point B and over the past few months, the system has drawn criticism for recurrent breakdowns due to mechanical glitches. Last August MRT-3 was forced to suspend operations due to mechanical and communication failures. The 15-year-old MRT has been plagued by technical problems and overcrowding.

The worst of these train service disruptions, due to maintenance shortfalls, took place, with the derailment of a southbound train that sent almost 40 people to hospital for injuries. Passenger safety has come off as the more critical issue plaguing the elevated railways system than the source of subsidies for the entire system. It involves life and death issues over whether the trains become the casket for some.

The Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya has more reasons why he’s still implementing the fare increase even though more and more groups and lawmakers filed petitions to stop the increase. The Supreme Court decided that TRO cannot be given because of the stature of DOTC stand to increase the same.

Various sectors intend to ask the Office of the President to review and suspend the fare increase implemented by Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) on orders of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC). Amid the outrage over the MRT-LRT fare increases, different sectors will jointly file a letter-petition before the Office of the President to ask for a review and suspension of the fare hike adjustment.

The petitioners, led by Akbayan Representatives Walden Bello and Barry Gutierrez and former senior government official Raffy Alunan, will ask President Benigno Aquino III "to exercise its 'power of control' over all executive departments, bureaus and offices by revoking" DOTC Order No. 2014-14 or the Implementation of the Uniform Distance-based Fare Scheme for three train lines.

The future of MRT-LRT train system could be improved and developed by our leaders with honest intention to serve the people. Election 2016 will be another leader chosen to manage and govern the Philippines. As such the issue still lingers which need the focus for solutions?


The Senate handled the MRT3 glitches over the DOTC Secretary Emilio Abaya and Bob Sobrepena of MRT Holdings resulted to more meetings and intensifying subjects being discussed in the open.

For the past months, before the signing of 2015 budget, Secretary Emilio Abaya was very much alive with his planned strategies on how to tackle MRT3 problems and continued to move forward with his leadership for the good of the commuters. While at the same time, never had a wink of giving MRT Holdings its proposition for business unification. Even the Senate cannot twisted his firmed ways to solve this gigantic problem of the MRT3 drama that buyout was the only option.

Then, Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya failed to attend the hearing on the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) fare hike. Truthfully, he’s busy preparing for the Pope’s visit to the Philippines and needs to prioritize things in order.

But militant group leaders like BAYAN MUNA Representative Neri Colmenares, BUHAY Representative Lito Atienza, and AKO BICOL Representative Rodel Batocabe voiced-out their negative note because of his absence.

Even Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero vowed to confront Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad over the “treacherous’’ increase of mass transit fare.

Both accused the Department of Transportation and Communication of putting one over the public by enforcing the fare increase of the Metro Rail Transit and Light Rail Transit right during the holidays.

The increase, they argued, was ill-timed because Congress approved allocations for MRT and LRT in the P2.606-trillion 2015 national budget, and that MRT has not fixed its glitches.

Other Filipinos think negatively that Secretary Abaya, as the ruling Liberal Party’s acting President has made it a source of dirty money for election 2016. They concluded that such billion-peso corruption been prevented, there would be no need for the fare hike. What do you think?
Moreover, Senator Grace Poe approved for the need to raise the fare hike, but the timing is not. Poe added that MRT3 has poor services, and has yet to fix its glitches, among many others, and fuel prices have just gone down. She also wondered why the DOTC did not inform lawmakers about the fare increase when it asked for subsidy in the supplemental budget.

The Senate must wait after the Papal visit to call a meeting with DOTC Secretary Emilio Abaya and confront him with their published remarks. If they’re just riding to upkeep their images, then, they’re just playing poker instead. Their true intent must be measured by their ability to comprehend the political development within the arena. Likewise, our country needs honest leaders to put forward the development and living condition of all Filipinos.

It’s a must for, political leaders, militant groups, media people and even us to contemplate peace in solving and resolving such case like this. Never judge a person until he’s proven guilty. Maintain harmony within ourselves and trusts our present leaders to do their responsibilities to our country and its people.