Thursday, September 3, 2015

3-Year MRT Maintenance Provider Under Procurement After GPPB Approval

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Along with government actively upgrading the worn-out facilities of the privately-owned Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) system, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is now undertaking emergency procurement for a long-term maintenance contractor pursuant to Republic Act No. 9184.

"We were given the go signal by the GPPB last to pursue this mode of negotiated procurement. We're targeting to award the contract within the year, and to have the new maintenance provider begin its services in January next year," said DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya.

The Government Procurement Policy Board unanimously approved the resort to this negotiated mode of procurement on August 20, 2015, pursuant to Section 53.2 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Procurement Law. This was in recognition of the urgent need to address the railway's maintenance requirements.

In the DOTC's request for the GPPB's approval, the agency cited the immediate need for a three-year total maintenance provider, as well as the general overhaul of existing train coaches and the replacement of the system's signaling system. These are essential in order to address the core problems of obsolescence and complete wear-and-tear.

Government has already stepped in to upgrade MRT-3's facilities due to the failure of the Sobrepena-controlled private owner to add coaches when they became due a decade ago, to conduct proper train overhauling, to replace rail tracks, and to upgrade the signaling system, among others.

The DOTC has also resorted to the current 6-month multi-discipline approach, wherein different maintenance contractors have been engaged for each of the 7 components of the railway line. This took place after the department's two previous attempts to bid out the 3-year maintenance contract in October 2014 and January 2015 failed.

Under the multi-discipline approach, MRT-3 management has been able to increase the number of operating coaches during peak hours to 45 as of the beginning of August, and aims to bring it back up to 60 by November.

The new long-term maintenance provider will take over from these 7 multi-discipline contractors when their services expire in January. In accordance with the GPPB-approved plan, the DOTC has invited several established, well-reputed international expert groups in the railway maintenance industry. This will effectively eliminate the possibility of non- or under-qualified firms from participating in the bid and eventually winning the contract.

As the ordinary procedures for a competitive bid are being observed, the DOTC may disclose the names of these participating groups once an award has been made, and will post such notice on the DOTC and PhilGEPS websites at that time in accordance with Sections 54.3 and 54.5 of the said Procurement Law IRR. The rules also provide that bid securities are not required for negotiated procurement activities.

The Department of Justice and the National Economic Development Authority have also approved this negotiated mode of procurement for the long-term maintenance contract.

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