Malacañang on Tuesday laid down the administration’s plan to improve the services of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) following major public scrutiny due to concurrent breakdowns and glitches.
During a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque highlighted the three solutions proposed during the President’s Cabinet meeting on Monday, March 5.
According to Roque, the short-term solution for the MRT-3 mess includes the procurement of all necessary spare parts whereas the medium-term solution was to enter into a maintenance contract with the original contractor, Sumitomo Corporation.
“They have concluded already the survey of what needs to be done. And from what I understand, Sumitomo found out that it was worse than they expected,” Roque said.
Roque further explained that the Japanese firm has already come up with a fixed timetable to rehabilitate MRT-3.
Roque also confirmed that “there is now an existing government-to-government agreement between the Philippines and Japan, which enables the country to rehire Sumitomo’s services for the maintenance of the train line.”
Meanwhile, the Palace explained that the long-term solution would entail the change of the MRT-3 Corporation’s ownership given that it “appears to have contributed to the problem.”
“As you know, the ownership of MRT-3 is a private corporation. So, they are thinking of changing the owners because we have had many problems with the current owners,” he added.
Roque also revealed that the President is working on filing new plunder charges against officials from the previous administration over the MRT mess.
“There was a decision that cases will be pursued for those behind the miserable performance of MRT-3,” Roque said.
“Accountability is part of the solution,” Roque added.