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Why MRT 3 queues get longer

The long queues at Metro Rail Transit Line 3 are not expected to disappear soon, as the temporary maintenance provider had to confront not only the daily glitches and technical problems along the 16.9-kilometer line, but also some internal management issues.

The joint venture of Global Epcom Services and Autre Porte Technique had split.  Documents show that APT personnel were barred from entering MRT 3 premises during the Holy Week, after APT sent a notification to its joint venture partner Global-EPCom Services Inc. of its intent to end the joint venture.

With the urgent need to improve the maintenance of the 16.9-kilometer Edsa line that serves nearly 600,000 rides daily, the MRT 3 management decided to choose a new provider and ordered a negotiated procurement for short-term maintenance of the rolling stocks and depot equipment for six months, with an approved budget for the contract of P130 million, which was later raised to P149 million. The negotiated procurement, however, took longer than usual.

The bids and awards committee announced in March that the joint venture of Schunk Bahn-und Industrietechnik GmbH and Comm Builders & Technology Phils. Corp. was the lowest bidder, with an offer of P123.986 million, for the six-month contract, beating Inekon’s offer of P128 million.

The lowest bidder, however, was disqualified for “failure to submit the required delinquency verification certificate from the concerned government office on March 26.”  The BAC then announced a new contract, expanding the scope of work to include signaling systems and raising the ABC to P149 million. A pre-negotiation conference was held on April 15, 2015.

This time, Inekon reportedly offered P128 million, a “nuisance bid”, according to its rivals, considering that it was lower than its earlier offer and given the expanded scope of work.

The BAC was supposed to open the eligibility and technical documents on April 17.  This did not happen, and some quarters were now speculating the delay would help Inekon to accomplish all the documents required.  DOTC spokesman Michael Arthur Sagcal was clueless on the issue, saying he had “no idea was this is.”

“So far, no GPPB [Government Procurement Policy Board] approval yet on whether we can pursue the emergency mode for the maintenance contract,” Sagcal said.

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