DOTr eyes to rehire Sumitomo Corp. as MRT maintenance provider by June

MANILAThe Department of Transportation (DOTr) is eyeing to bring back Sumitomo Corp. of Japan to conduct maintenance and rehabilitation works for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) by June this year, an official said on Wednesday.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said they are looking to rehire the Sumitomo Corp. to conduct maintenance works for the railway system.

Nakausap namin ang dating maintenance provider na Sumitomo at ang pamahalaan ng Japan na tumutulong sa amin para maibalik angSumitomo. Target po namin ay di lalampas ng June ay sana magkasundo at in place na ang Sumitomo. (We had meetings with the former maintenance service provider Sumitomo and the government of Japan that is helping us in re-acquiring the services of Sumitomo. Our target is that by June we will have an agreement and Sumitomo will be in place), Tugade said in an interview with reporters on the sidelines of the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the DOTr and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for free MRT rides to all active military personnel at its depot in Quezon City Wednesday.

Sumitomo, along with its technical partner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, is the original maintenance provider of the MRT from 2000 to 2012 and was the one that designed and built the railway system from 1998 to 2000.

Ang Sumitomo po ang general maintenance service provider na kung saan ilang taon rin nila pinangasiwaan ang operations and maintenance. Noong panahon nila nagkaroon ng spare parts at na-maintain ito ng maganda. (Sumitomo is the general maintenance service provider wherein they were in charge of the operations and maintenance for several years. During their time, the railway system had spare parts which were well maintained), Tugade said.

The procurement of a maintenance and rehabilitation service provider will be done under a Government to Government (G2G) Official Development Assistance platform with the Japanese government.

For his part, DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said the rehabilitation and maintenance of the MRT is expected to last for three years once the signing of the loan agreement and mobilization of the maintenance provider is finalized.

The rehabilitation will include the trains, power supply and signaling system, security cameras, public address system, elevators and escalators as well as other facilities of the railway system.

For the long term plan, the DOTr is pursuing an unsolicited proposal for the 30-year operations and maintenance of MRT-3.

Original proponent status has been granted to Metro Pacific Investments Corporation with its proposal soon to be endorsed to the National Economic Development Authority.

Metro Pacific has offered to invest PHP20 billion to rehabilitate and operate the MRT-3 system.

Source: Philippine News Agency