Chinese firm says 'capable' to supply new MRT trains
MANILA, Philippines – Dalian Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co. Ltd. CNR Group of China saud Monday, February 17, it had the capability – both in financial capacity and expertise – to supply 48 brand new trains for the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT3) along EDSA as part of a P3.8-billion contract.
The company spoke about the issue after Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC), the operator of MRT 3, and its shareholder filed a case to stop the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) from pursuing the MRT 3 capacity expansion project.
A statement from Dalian Locomotive, which won the bidding for the project, assured Filipino commuters that its 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 railworthiness."
MRT 3 expansion issues
The MRT 3 expansion project aims to decongest the MRT system and reduce waiting times. While the system is designed to serve 350,000 passengers, the trains actually provide transportation to around 600,000 passengers daily. (READ: DOTC: MRT riders suffer due to blocked capacity upgrade)
The DOTC awarded the project to Dalian Locomotive after a post-evaluation process showed the company was fit to do the project.
The Makati City regional trial court, however, issued a 20-day temporary order of protection against the DOTC. The DOTC is "hereby restrained from performing any and all acts related in any manner to its procurement of additional LRVs (light rail vehicles) for the MRT 3 and from committing any act tending to usurp and to violate the rights of MRTC under... the BLT (build-lease-transfer) agreement," Branch 66 presiding judge Joselito Villarosa delcared.
Dalian Locomotive's statement also said,"Attempts to scuttle and abort the project is improper. CNR Dalian participated in an open bidding where Invitations to Bid were carried widely by big dailies in the Philippines."
Questions or claims of legal issues over the DOTC's right to procure LRVs for the expansion project should have been raised before the bidding was conducted, said Dalian.
"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," part of the company's statement read.
Proving its worth
Dalian Locomotive's statement also asserted a number of points to prove its ability to provide the 48 new LRVs for the MRT 3.
Financially, Dalian said it can undertake the project, noting that it has posted annual revenues of over 10 billion Chinese Yuan.
Founded in 1899, Dalian pointed to its other dealings, saying it has exported diesel locomotives, electric locomotives and metro cars to more than 20 countries. It has also been regarded as one of the most reliable and trustworthy manufacturers of these rail vehicle types.
The company noted, "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."
Dalian was the first company to supply AC transmission LRVs in China. It also supplied more than 10 kinds of metro LRVs to various Chinese cities, as well as other locales.
The company said the AC transmission LRVs it supplied have been functioning properly without any major breakdowns or reported malfunctions.
The company is pushing for a fair and speedy resolution of the case against DOTC. – Rappler.com