Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Government Should Reach Out To MRTC

I think the government should dialogue with MRTC so they can improve the system, the spare-parts condition, improve the maintenance, bring about new trains—together. Because that’s how it was envisioned in the agreement. We own it, they operate. We have to work together,Bob Sobrepena's first live interview about MRT expalined a lot of things.

Bon Sobrepeña said MRTC and its holding firm MRT Holdings (MRTH)have been “out of the loop” in discussions on how to improve the MRT, which it built and owns.

He said their group, which also includes the Ayala Group, Ramcar and National Bookstore, was cut off from talks when a new maintenance provider, Philippine Trans Rail Management and Services Corp. (PH Trams), entered the picture in 2012.

They  are actually completely cut off, out of the loop. That’s the big problem. That’s why it got into this kind of situation . They used to attend their meetings every month in 2012 and before that. All the maintenance meetings,they were part of it. Sumitomo Mitsubishi, their maintenance provider, was doing an excellent job at maintaining it. They didn’t have all these problems then.

Government takeover will not solve anything. MRT wants to buy back the MRT but no one has talked to MRTC to tell them of their plans to do so. MRT Holdings owns 100% of MRTC. 5 Board Seats in MRTC and 9 Board Seats MRTC but in MRT Holdings they don't any shares there. If the government to buy out the MRT the estimate is 2.5 Billion dollars. The private sector proposed to absorb the MRT Subsidy and take over the operations but the DOTC does not want to agree.

The Court of Appeals recently denied the petition filed by MRTC and MRTH to prevent the DOTC from purchasing new light-rail vehicles (LRVs) for the MRT.

Sobrepeña said they filed the petition because they still have pending proposals to supply the new trains at no cost to the government, and they want to ensure that the new trains are compatible to the system they built.

There are instances, such as one in Australia, wherein trains from China were turned back because the grade of steel was not up to par. We want to be sure that these trains are compatible, so [they] [don’t] destroy our system, and they’re safe. We can only do that if we’re in the loop in the purchase, but they are’re not in the loop.The train prototypes for the 48 new LRVs are scheduled to arrive in August 2015.

Sobrepeña also expressed worry that if the government does not honor terms under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Program it may hinder private firms from investing on future PPP projects.

I think first things first before they discussed a take over or buying out the investors of MRTC the Government needs to each out to them and let the people they left out to the cold and bring them in and talk to them.

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