MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has made it clear that the terminated MRT-3 maintenance service provider, Busan Universal Rail Incorporated (BURI), and its affiliates can no longer participate in any other government projects.
“BURI and its joint venture members, which include Busan Transportation Corporation (Busan) and Edison Development and Construction (Edison), are disqualified from participating in the bidding of government projects,” the DOTR said in a statement on Tuesday, December 26.
The agency added that the move is a consequence of the termination last November 6 of BURI’s contract for the maintenance of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) due to poor performance and breach of contractual obligations.
Despite the November termination, Busan and Edison had recently submitted bids for other projects: the Systematic Rail Replacement Project for MRT-3, LRTA’s Maintenance Contract for LRT-2, and LRTA’s Restoration of Four Train Sets Project also for LRT-2.
The DOTr clarified that “Busan and Edison’s submission of a bid for a project does not mean that they are qualified.”
“While Busan and Edison may have submitted the legal, technical, and financial documents required under R.A. 9184 (which is evaluated based on a “presence” or “absence” criteria), Busan and Edison have not been declared qualified for the projects, which is done in the post-qualification stage of a procurement process,” the DOTr explained.
The DOTr added that all 3 projects are currently in post-qualification stage, and Busan and Edison’s disqualification from all government projects, pursuant to the Uniform Guidelines for Blacklisting of Contractors, will disqualify them from the 3 projects.
The DOTr and BURI have been involved in a year-long squabble that has reached the courtroom level following a number of high-profile “glitches” ailing the MRT-3 line.
Beyond terminating BURI’s P3.8 billion MRT-3 contract, the DOTr has also filed a graft case against the firm as well as then transportation secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya over alleged anomalies involving the contract in the first place. Prior to that, BURI sued the DOTr over non-payment of fees.
The DOTr aso announced in November that Sumitomo Corporation, the original maintenance provider of MRT-3, is being closely considered to reprise its role. – Rappler.com