Tuesday| July 11, 2016
Former Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Abaya admits he is not knowledgeable of the problematic company that the government contracted with in the maintenance of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3, however suspicion arises that it may have awarded the contract because the company president is a close friend of former Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas.
During the Senate public services committee hearing on the issue, committee head Senator Grace Poe questioned Abaya why they entered into a Php 54 million contract with PH Trams, a two-month old company with a paid-up capital of Php 625,000 in 2012.
Poe underscored that it is a company that cannot even purchase a brand new Toyota Vios, how much more the maintenance of MRT-3, which led Atienza to lash out saying that the DOTC that time burdened the commuters.
The maintenance provider of the MRT-3 from 2000 to 2010 was Sumitomo, a well-established Japanese company, however, Abaya reported that Sumitomo backed away from the maintenance deal when the train units became obsolete and overloaded.
Sumitomo allegedly offered to work on the MRT-3 on the condition that the government increased their payment from$1.4 million to $2.2 million per month without bidding, however Abaya said it gave no guarantees of its service which compelled the DOTC to seek other providers.
Poe argued that when PH Trams took the stead of Sumitomo, the transit experienced frequent breakdowns.
“Unlike Sumitomo, which had years of experience, PH Trams was only incorporated two months before it was awarded the MRT-3 maintenance contract,” she said.
The questionable transaction led the Senate hearing to open up about the alleged ties between PH Trams chairperson Marlo de la Cruz and former DILG Mar Roxas.
Dela Cruz was requested to attend the hearing, however he did not show up.
With the anomalies in the MRT-3 deal, Atienza urged the politicians and officials responsible to be brought to court to settle the questionable contract.
Atienza further said that those guilty of purchasing the unusable coaches and other irregularities should be jailed.
“Dapat dalhin sa korte si Mar Roxas at lahat ng sangkot sa pagbili ng hindi magamit-gamit na mga bagon ng MRT at iyong guilty dapat makulong! Pahirap kayo sa mga commuters at bilyun-bilyong pera ng taumbayan ang sinayang niyo,” Atienza said.
Sources: Facebook and ManilaTimes