Friday, February 28, 2014

DOTC Wins Court Case On Adding More MRT Coaches

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is proceeding with the addition of forty eight (48) new Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) to the Metro Rail Transit III (MRT-3) line, after the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) dismissed the injunction case filed by MRT Holdings II, Inc. last Friday, 21 February 2013.

“The DOTC successfully fought for public interest and defended its position in court, but the true winners are the riders of MRT-3. The supplier can now start manufacturing the 48 brand new LRVs, which will be delivered in tranches starting in the second half of 2015,” said DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya.

Upon the dismissal of the case, the DOTC issued the Notice to Proceed to Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Company of China, which won the public bidding conducted last year.

Under the terms of the contract, Dalian will have 18 months to deliver the prototype LRV for testing on the MRT-3 system. It should then deliver the remaining LRVs in tranches over the next 18 months.

Nevertheless, the transport agency secured Dalian’s commitment to expedite the manufacturing process by dedicating more workers to the project, in order to deliver the prototype in around 12 months’ time, and the remaining LRVs in monthly tranches over the succeeding 12-month period.

“Our commuters deserve better services at MRT-3, and the addition of more LRVs is long overdue. We are doing all we can to get them here as soon as possible, and Dalian has expressed the same commitment to riding public,” Abaya added.

In its decision, the Makati RTC cited Republic Act No. 8975, which states that only the Supreme Court can enjoin government infrastructure projects from proceeding. This shows the lack of merit in MRT Holdings II’s petition.

Moreover, MRT Holdings II stated last week that it filed this case knowing full well that the proper forum is an arbitration panel in Singapore. Another arbitration case involving the Equity Value Buy-Out (EVBO) of Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC) is already on-going in Singapore.

“The DOTC and the Department of Finance should speed up the buy-out of MRTC, to free government from having to deal with the likes of those behind the case. They were clearly more than willing to file a baseless petition and delay the project at the expense of the public,” Abaya remarked.

The DOTC’s MRT-3 Capacity Expansion project will improve the current system’s 3-car configuration arriving every 3 minutes to a 4-car configuration arriving every 2.5 minutes, to serve more passengers at a more efficient pace.

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