Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya has backtracked on his proposal for a temporary shutdown of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT). Even if he didn't backtrack I still wouldn't say yes to this plan. The operations of MRT-3 have been hampered by a series of breakdowns brought about by broken rails, non-working communications system as well as floods. Last Aug. 13, a train overshot the Taft Avenue station and hit a concrete barrier, injuring at least 36 passengers.
Meanwhile, the DOTC is giving interested bidders for the P2.2-billion maintenance contract of MRT-3 more time to prepare their proposals. DOTC Undersecretary Rene Limcaoco issued General Bid Bulletin 06-2014 postponing the submission and opening of bids to Oct. 28 instead of Oct. 17.
This is the second time that the deadline has been moved.The original deadline for the submission and opening of bids was scheduled on Oct. 13.Jun Abaya said the government has decided to bid out a longer maintenance contract, as the current one-year contract is too short.The DOTC has extended the one-year maintenance contract of Autre Potre Technique Global Inc. that expired on Sept. 5. I don't umderstand why they are not talking to MRT Holdings about all of this.
Here are some points that they should have considered before putting the MRT Shutdown out there:
• The maintenance contract is among the close to P10-billion projects being undertaken by the DOTC to improve the operations and decongest the MRT-3. The biggest is the P3.76-billion MRT-3 capacity expansion project, involving the acquisition of 48 brand new trains that was awarded to CNR Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co. of China to increase its capacity by 66 percent to 800,000 per day.
• This is what you call breakdown maintenance, a pre-historic maintenance philosophy/methodology that has no place in modern times. Most transportation systems and utilities in the world that serve the community already employ pro-active/predictive maintenance if not its predecessor preventive maintenance to preclude unscheduled shutdown/interruption, more so a long term maintenance disruption because of a breakdown.If only DOTC was manned by competent and knowledgeable people (not the politicians and his cordon sanitaire circle of friends) and run with less corruption, the present condition of MRT would be much better. Talk to Bob Sobrepena while you are at it.
• That we now have to resort to a total shutdown because there are only three rails out of a mandated 29 in ready reserve only shows the scope of neglect over many years of the DOTC with the MRTC. They have the guts to blame the private owners whose power to maintain the line was usurped by the DOTC and the slipshod contractors they hired but never bothered to inspect.
• Just check the preventive maintenance log, parts inventory, and see if those people are really doing their job. check the parts number/serial . invoice order, check when was it replaced, perhaps stolen? replaced with a defective or substandard parts ?check computer fault code, etc. The engineers and technical crew should be warned. an independent crew should be brought in and start investigative work and proper filing of fraud and deceit plus a hefty fine impose to the contractor.
Is Malacanang and DOTC talking during the economic cluster or cabinet meeting? It seems, DOTC is talking things Malacanang doesn`t even know, he should probably just be kicked out of office for failing to keep one announcement only, after briefing Malacanang through cabinet meeting but it turns out, Malacanang is clueless hence, here they are answering their own pronouncement.