Firms in failed MRT3 maintenance contract now bidders for 3 key DOTr projects: party-list rep

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In file photo, DOTrPH Officials led by Undersecretary for Legal and Procurement Reinier Yebra, (now resigned) Undersecretary for Rails Cesar Chavez, Assistant Secretary for Procurement Giovanni Lopez, Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs Steve Pastor and Metro Railway Transit 3 General Manager Rodolfo Garcia hold a press conference on the agency's final decision to terminate the contract of Busan Universal Railways Inc. (BURI), the maintenance provider of MRT3. HANDOUT PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The companies behind the MRT 3 maintenance contractor whose services were recently terminated by the government have been qualified as bidders for three major projects of the Department of Transportation (DoTr), a party-list lawmaker said, quoting sources.

PBA partylist Representative Jericho Nograles said Busan Transportation Corporation and Edison Development & Construction are trying to forge contracts anew with the government by taking part in the bidding.

The same companies, which Nograles
said were responsible for “turning the MRT3 into shambles,” were the lone bidders for the maintenance of LRT Line 2.

“This is shocking! How can Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade allow this? It’s basic common sense that Busan and Edison should have been blacklisted from joining any bidding for any government project especially projects of the DoTr. Iniluwa na nga isusubo pa ulit [You’re vomiting them out, and now you’re going to swallow them again]?” he said.

Busan Transportation Corporation and Edison Development and Construction are the companies behind Busan Universal Rail Inc., which was terminated as maintenance provider of MRT 3, for, among others, its poor performance.
Their running word war with the DOTr official directly dealing with them, Undersecretary for Rail Cesar Chavez, ended with Chavez resigning his post, saying “someone has to be responsible” for the misery that half a million MRT commuters face daily.

It was Chavez who had pushed for rescinding the contract with BURI.

Nograles, meanwhile, said his sources revealed that the three projects of the DoTr for which Busan Transportation anf Edison Development qualified as bidders involve the rail replacement of the MRT3; the restoration of four LRT2 trains; and, LRT 2 maintenance contract.

Nograles said that Section 34 of Rule X of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act disqualifies any contractor with “Negative Slippage of at least 15% in any one project or at least 10% of any two or more contracts.”

“How can the DOTr even consider qualifying Busan and Edison as bidders for its projects shortly after getting entangled in a scandalous contract for MRT3? Anyone in his right mind would not even touch these two companies with a ten-foot pole under the present circumstances,” he said.