The Department of Transportation (DOTr) expresses sincere apologies to those who were affected and inconvenienced by the recent smoke incident that occurred yesterday in one of MRT-3’s trains.
At about 1:40 PM, around 600 passengers unloaded a train between Cubao and Kamuning Stations due to reported smell and appearance of smoke from under one of the seats. The passengers were safely assisted to the nearest station, and regular service resumed at about 2:50 PM, ending the day with 321,397 riders.
Fault analysis is ongoing, and in the interest of accuracy and transparency, DOTr has directed MRT-3 Management to release to the public their technical findings at the soonest possible time.
The DOTr appeals to the riding public’s understanding while it pushes ahead, in the most expeditious manner, strategies and actions to effectively and sustainably restore and rehabilitate the current MRT-3 system—a system that has deteriorated due to cumulative errors in policy and operational decisions made across several administrations.
DOTr fully supports MRT-3 Management in its continuing efforts to ensure that MRT-3 is continued to be operated safely, thus providing continuing service to the hundreds of thousands of passengers that rely on it for their daily commute.
Strategy Part 2/4: The MRT-3 MTT
The MRT-3 Maintenance Transition Team (MTT) was intended to maintain the system for 3-6 months, until a replacement maintenance service provider is procured.
The MTT has put in place necessary human resources, by absorbing around 450 of the former maintenance service provider’s employees (Busan Universal Rail, Inc. or BURI), and hiring additional personnel to compensate for constraints imposed by civil service rules. Support from experienced and well-qualified railway engineers from LRTA and PNR are also part of the team.
Due to BURI’s failure to purchase and maintain a sufficient level of spare parts’ inventory, DOTr created a special Bids and Award Committee (BAC), which has been regularly convening to expeditiously procure spare parts that BURI failed to purchase.
Many of the spare parts intended to increase MRT-3’s reliability have been ordered as of Dec. 29. With delivery lead times of 30 days to 6 months, delivery of critical components will begin in February, and restoration of service reliability is expected to begin toward the latter part of February and gradually thereafter.
Strategy Part 3/4: Rehabilitation and Maintenance Service Provider
At the beginning of January 2018, the Philippines and Japan formalized an arrangement for the latter’s commitment to assist the DOTr in rehabilitating and properly maintaining MRT-3.
By May 2018, the rehabilitation and maintenance service provider for MRT-3 is targeted to be mobilized. The DOTr has stressed with the Government of Japan that the provider they will nominate must be highly qualified and with a proven track record.
Strategy 4/4: Long Term Single Point Operations and Maintenance Provider
Many of MRT-3’s problems in recent years resulted from successive short-term and fragmented maintenance contracts, and from finger-pointing due to having different entities maintaining and operating MRT-3.
DOTr is addressing this by pursuing an Unsolicited Proposal for the 30-year operation and maintenance (O&M) of MRT-3. Original proponent status has been given to the proponent, Metro Pacific Light Rail Corporation (MPLRC), and the proposal will soon be endorsed to NEDA.
Independent Audit and Assessment
Apart from the above strategies, an Independent Audit and Assessment (IAA) by an ISO 17020 and ISO 17065 certified firm, and a member of the IFIA (International Federation of Inspection Agencies), for the entire MRT-3 system is ongoing.
The report of the IAA firm, TUV Rheinland, is intended to give DOTr additional inputs and guidance on the interventions needed to rehabilitate and restore MRT-3 reliability.