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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

DOTC, LRTA Assure Safety of LRT-1 Passengers



Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) are assuring the public of the continuing safety of the LRT-1 System, as the DOTC seeks to solve an impasse in the implementation of the P 269-Million LRT-1 Rehabilitation (Rail Replacement) Project which was awarded in November of last year.

The DOTC will meet tomorrow (13 August 2013) with the winning contractor for the Project, OMMC-KORAIL-Erin Marty-Jorgman Joint Venture, to ensure that the latter fulfills its contractual obligations to government.

According to the transport agency, the Joint Venture was supposed to begin actual replacement works by May 2013. Instead, the DOTC received a letter from the Joint Venture, claiming that it would not be able to meet the project schedule since it could not obtain sufficient financing from lenders.

After an exchange of correspondences, the DOTC wrote the Joint Venture on 9 July 2013 to clarify that there was no impediment on the part of government preventing the Joint Venture from complying with the contract. The letter also stressed that the Joint Venture’s failure to satisfy its obligations are grounds for liquidated damages and blacklisting, in accordance with the Uniform Guidelines for Blacklisting.

Meanwhile, the LRTA guarantees the safety of the LRT-1 System, despite the present condition of its tracks, which has suffered from ageing and overutilization. According to LRTA Administrator Honorito Chaneco, the rails are not expected to reach the critical stage of deterioration until another 3-4 years.

The LRTA is constantly and stringently monitoring and applying all means to prevent the tracks from further deterioration, and is already implementing several measures for this purpose, such as reducing train speed and imposing a passenger limit per platform.

The bidding out of the Project, which was deliberately done by the DOTC and the LRTA early enough in order to ensure that passenger safety would not be compromised, will cover the replacement of about 23 kilometers of rail tracks and is expected to be completed within 20 months. It was awarded in November 2012, but was initially stalled due to certain procedural issues raised by the Commission on Audit (COA). The audit issues have since been resolved.


*credit of photo to kuro-kuro.org

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