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Poe says rehiring Sumitomo for MRT is ‘encouraging, step to right direction’

Grace Poe

Sen. Grace Poe (File photo by LYN RILLON / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“Encouraging and a step in the right direction,” was how Senator Grace Poe described on Thursday the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) plan to rehire Sumitomo Corporation as the maintenance provider of Metro Rail Transit Line-3 (MRT).

“Given the good track record of Sumitomo when it maintained the MRT for the first 12 years before the system went through a teleserye of unfortunate events, the prospect of having a reputable maintenance provider back is encouraging and a step in the right direction,” Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, said in a statement.

READ: MRT management suggests rehiring original contractor Sumitomo

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“Let us bear in mind, however, that Sumitomo may not be the only maintenance provider or even the best one. Thus, the government must ensure that the terms of the contract for whichever provider is hired, are not disadvantageous to the people and should be FOI-compliant,” the senator added.

On Wednesday, the DOTr announced that it would rehire the services of Sumitomo Corporation for MRT3. The government had terminated the service provider Busan Universal Rail Inc. following frequent breakdowns of MRT trains.

“Pursuant to the Philippines-Japan infrastructure development cooperation framework, discussions with the Government of Japan (GOJ) have progressed and an agreement is already scheduled to be signed before year-end,” the DOTr said in a statement.

The agency explained that after the government-to-government (G2G) agreement for an Official Development Assistance is signed, the maintenance and rehabilitation service contractor will be contracted pursuant to GOJ and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) rules.

“The joint venture of Sumitomo Corporation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is being closely considered due to their background and experience with the MRT-3—they designed and built the system from 1986 to 2,000 and maintained the system from 2000 to 2012,” the DOTr further said. /jpv

READ: Sumitomo to return as MRT 3 maintenance provider

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