Chinese supplier hits delays in MRT expansion project

Posted at 02/17/14 4:40 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Chinese train supplier Dalian Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., Ltd. CNR Group is calling for the speedy resolution of the case involving the expansion project of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT).

CNR Dalian, the winning bidder for the P3.7-billion train supply contract, stressed that the dispute between the government and Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC) on light rail vehicle (LRV) procurement rights should have been resolved prior to the bidding.

“After being awarded the contract to supply the LRVs, we were unnecessarily dragged into this [DOTC’s] legal entanglement and, lamentably, because of the delay, stand to be prejudiced because of something that is not within our control and of which we are not privy to,” the Chinese firm said.

The Makati Regional Trial Court has issued a 20-day temporary order of protection in favor of MRTC, which halted the purchase of new trains.

CNR Dalian said delays in the expansion project, which aims to decongest the MRT system and cut passenger waiting time, will only hurt commuters.

“Attempts to scuttle and abort the [MRT expansion] project is improper. CNR Dalian participated in an open bidding where Invitations to Bid were carried widely by big dailies in the Philippines,” the company said.

It also gave its assurance to the riding public that it has the financial capacity and expertise to provide the new trains.

“We wish to assure Filipino commuters that our products have been tested all through long years of worldwide usage and never has there been any report that our vehicles have caused fatal accidents directly attributable to inherent defects of our vehicles’ mechanical rail-worthiness. We have adequately trained rail engineers and a complementing staff of equally competent and experienced technical people working tirelessly to ensure the safety and reliability of our vehicles’ system and functional dependability,” the firm said.

MRT Holdings disputed the awarding of the contract to CNR Dalian, saying the DOTC did not respect the owner's rights under the MRT build-lease-transfer agreement, which gives them the right to supply trains for the MRT-3.