BURI barred from joining MRT, LRT public bidding

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 26) — Busan Universal Rail, Inc.(BURI) is disqualified from participating in any government project, the Transport Department has said, as members of the consortium submitted bids for three new railway deals.

Busan Transport Corp. and Edison Development Construction submitted bids for these three projects:

  • MRT 3 Systematic Rail Replacement
  • LRT 2 Maintenance Contract
  • LRT 2 Restoration of Four Train Sets

Transport Assistant Secretary TJ Batan however isn't having any of it.

Since BURI was already fired for failing to maintain the Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3), Batan says the company and all its partners are immediately blacklisted from all other projects.

RELATED: DOTr: Gov't to take over MRT maintenance

He said, "Whenever a contractor of the government is terminated due to the fault of that contractor, they are blacklisted and prohibited from participating in any government project."

Batan added the guidelines on blacklisting is the same for all government contracts, whether they be railway-related or not.

BURI: No legal basis for exclusion

BURI lawyer Maricris Pahate denies these claims.

She said, "There is definitely no legal or factual ground to bar either BURI or its component companies from participating in bids because the DOTr has yet to prove any violation on the part of BURI. We are sure we will vindicate our side after the legal case takes its course."

She says until the government has proven its case against BURI, its companies cannot be prevented from joining any public bidding.

BURI is confident it will be vindicated at the trial.

"It is unfortunate that because of the haphazard and imprudent decisions of the DOTr, the riding public is now suffering even more and the government will be held liable for millions in damages due to the contractual breach," Pahate said.

She added it's only unfortunate that the riding public will suffer even more when the government is made to pay millions of pesos in damages for unfairly terminating BURI's contract.

The Transport Department terminated BURI's three-year contract last November citing the company's failure to perform.

Since then, the government has taken over the MRT's maintenance. However, glitches have not stopped.

On Tuesday morning, the MRT unloaded passengers yet again.

An engine motor suffered an electrical failure, forcing more than 900 passengers to get off the southbound train at 5:48 a.m..

This is the 26th glitch this month, and the 61st since the government took over the MRT.