The Department of Transportation (DOTr) should finally decide on what to do with the new Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) trains that remain inoperable due to its incompatibility with the line’s rails, Sen. Nancy Binay said on Thursday.
Binay said that Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade should finally decide if the coaches purchased from Dalian Locomotive and Stock Rolling Corp. should be returned to the company.
“For me ang long-term solution e kung ano yung gagawin dun sa Dalian train. Kung isosoli ba natin yan tapos kukuha tayo ng refund from Dalian para magkaroon tayo ng pera para bumili ng bagong train na talagang match doon sa system ng MRT?” Binay said in an interview.
(For me, the long-term solution is what to do with the Dalian train. Should we return it and ask for a refund so we’d have money to purchase new trains that match the MRT’s system?)
“So I think, siguro umpisahan ni Secretary, desisyunan niya kung ano gagawin diyan sa Dalian na yan, ta’s kung hindi na pwedeng gamitin, mag-order na tayo ng train na bagay talaga dun sa MRT,” she added.
(So I think the Secretary should lead, decide what he would do with those Dalian trains and if we can’t use it, let us order new trains that fit the MRT.)
Dalian, a Chinese train company, won the P3.8-billion contract in 2013 to supply the government with 48 new MRT train cars to augment the fleet of more than 72 aging cars of the MRT 3, the country’s busiest light rail system.
The coaches were delivered in 2016 but could not be used after it was discovered that each car was 3.3-ton overweight for MRT’s rails and were incompatible with the transit line’s maintenance and signaling systems.
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has earlier urged the blacklisting of Dalian from participating in future government biddings, noting that canceling its contract and giving a full refund would not be enough.
Binay said that Dalian should immediately refund the payment for the unused cars so the DOTr could immediately start the process of purchasing new trains.
“E sobrang obvious naman talaga na hindi umaandar yung train, yung Dalian train. So bakit pa pinapatagal?” she added.
(It seemed so obvious that the Dalian trains are unusable. So why do we need to prolong the agony?)