The Philippines Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is starting the tender process for a long-term maintenance contractor for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3).
The decision follows an approval from the government procurement policy board (GPPB) in recognition of the urgent need to address the railway’s maintenance requirements.
DOTC secretary Jun Abaya said: "We were given the ‘go’ signal by the GPPB 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."
The DOTC sought GPPB’s approval for a three-year total maintenance contract, the general overhaul of existing train coaches and the replacement of the signalling system.
The MRT-3 has 13 stations and stretches 16.7km from Taft Avenue to North Avenue in Quezon City.
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According to DOTC, the decision to float a maintenance tender was taken due to the failure of the Sobrepeña-controlled private owner of the MRT-3 to add coaches, conduct proper train overhauling, replace rail tracks and to upgrade the signalling system.
The DOTC has invited international groups for the maintenance contract to ensure that under-qualified firms are out of the bidding process.
The new contract will consolidate the work being currently undertaken as part of seven multi-discipline contracts that will expire in January.
The DOTC has awarded six-month multi-discipline contracts for seven components of the railway line, after attempts to award a three-year contract failed twice in October 2014, and November this year.
As part of the multidiscipline contracts, the MRT 3 has witnessed an increase in the number of operating coaches during peak hours to 45 at the beginning of August. There are plans to raise this number to 60 by November.
Image: The 16.7km MRT-3 has 13 stations and stretches from Taft Avenue to North Avenue in Quezon City. Photo: courtesy of the Department of Transportation and Communications.