Tugade wants proper accounting of MRT spare parts

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 29) — Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade on Thursday pushed for a more efficient record-keeping system of the spare parts of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT).

“I’m not happy with your record-keeping. I’m not happy with your inventory keeping,” Tugade told maintenance workers at the MRT spare parts warehouse at the depot in Quezon City. “Ang fast-moving at laging ginagamit dapat nasa bukana ng warehouse. Ang with long life dapat nasa dulo.”

[Translation: The fast-moving parts should be near the front of the warehouse. Those with long life should be at the back.”

He also explained the importance of an organized inventory for the spare parts, so these can better utilized to fix defective trains.

“Importante yang imbentaryo dahil dyan ko malalaman kung kulang o nag-o-over order kayo. Hindi pwedeng manu-mano yan! If you don’t address this now, time will come na mauubos na naman yung spare parts dahil hindi maayos ang pag-account ninyo,” Tugade said.

[Translation: An inventory is important because that’s where we could track if we’re short on parts or we’re over-ordering. This can’t be done manually. If you don’t address this now, the time will come that we’ll run out of spare parts because you didn’t account for it well.]

The department is doing maintenance work on the MRT over the Holy Week break, as it aims to have 15 operational trains on April 1.

READ: DOTr targets 15 operational MRT trains after Holy Week

At the Senate Committee on Public Services hearing on February 20, Transportation Undersecretary TJ Batan said there has been an average of only seven operational trains in February, which caters to about 1.1 million passengers daily.

Batan also revealed the department has acquired new spare parts, mostly for the MRT’s signaling system.

LOOK: MRT maintenance begins this Holy Week break  

He said the signaling system is among the leading causes of train breakdowns, and upgrading it costs P400 million.

"Meron pong mga components ang signaling system natin na hindi na OEM (original equipment manufacturer), yung iba po may modifications na hindi maintindihan kung paano ginawa. We really need to stock up on spare parts for signaling," Batan said, citing the system audit done by signaling system provider Bombardier.

[Translation: Our signaling system have components which are not OEM, and others even have modifications which Bombardier could not understand. We really need to stock up on spare parts for signaling.]

Batan said the department has signed contracts with Bombardier to supply needed spare parts and conduct maintenance and restoration services to the signaling systems, which may take up to six months.

The 17-kilometer train line runs the stretch of EDSA, from North Avenue in Quezon City up to Taft in Pasay.

On November 6, 2017, the government took over the MRT's maintenance from Busan Universal Rail Inc. due to the company's alleged failure to operate the railway efficiently.

For that year, the MRT administration reported 504 glitches over 255 operation days or an average of two glitches per day.