MANILA -- The Department of Transportation (DOTr) issued on Monday a final decision to terminate its contract with Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI) for the maintenance of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) system.

In terminating the contract, the DOTr cited BURI's failure to address various issues such as poor performance, failure to ensure availability of required number of trains, failure to implement a feasible procurement plan for spare parts and noncompliance with the requirements of a complete and up-to-date Computerized Management System.
 
"It cannot be overemphasized that what is at stake here is the welfare and interest of the riding public. This office could not just sit back and wait while watching BURI trifle and flirt with the lives of the commuting public, with its substandard performance," DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade said in a statement.
 
The DOTr earlier issued a Notice of Termination to BURI last October 20, 2017. To avoid service disruptions, the department has established the MRT-3 Maintenance Transition Team (MTT) that will temporarily take over the maintenance of the railway system while the procurement of a new maintenance service provider is being processed. The technical personnel from BURI will also be absorbed.
 
The Philippine National Railways (PNR) and Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) have committed to provide adequate technical support and expertise to ensure the smooth transition of the MRT maintenance operations.
 
BURI earlier said the glitches in the MRT are mainly due to its design flaws and not maintenance issues. The firm said its operational fleet availability for MRT-3 is 91.67 percent (66 out of 72 cars) which is higher than LRT 1’s 74.82 percent (102 of 139 cars) and LRT 2’s 66.67 percent (48 of 72 cars).

 It expressed confidence that it will be vindicated from the process of contract termination.
 
“Through the process of arbitration that will commence between BURI and the DOTr, and other judicial remedies BURI is considering, the grounds raised by DOTr in its notice to terminate its contract will be proven to be bereft of factual and legal basis,” BURI said.
 
BURI took over the maintenance operations of MRT-3 in January 2016 during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III. (PNA)