‘SOLI BAYAD’ | Koko wants Dalian blacklisted, ordered to refund money for unusable MRT trains

February 4, 2018 - 9:14 AM
MRT coach in assembly
MRT coach being assembled. Photographed by Bernard Testa, News5 | InterAksyon

MANILA – Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Saturday demanded that Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stocks Co., which supplied 48 light rail coaches for P3.8 billion to the MRT-3, refund the government for the full cost of the contract.

Pimentel said the manufacturer should also be blacklisted from all future contracts with the government.

“Cancelling the contract and returning the coaches is not enough. What we have here is a supplier who knowingly supplied equipment that is not suitable for the MRT. We can’t just let them get away with it with no penalties whatsoever”, said Pimentel.

The Senate chief, who also demanded a full refund from Sanofi over the Dengvaxia fiasco, is determined that all future suppliers of Philippine government projects be aware of the consequences of giving defective products for their contracts.

Dalian supplied the light rail coaches to the MRT-3 under then-Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya.

The trains were delivered in 2016, but cannot be used due to incompatibilities with the system, including being too heavy for the rails.

The MRT-3 is the country’s busiest light rail system, servicing about half a million people daily. It has been plagued by an increasing number of breakdowns and accidents, which in recent weeks have forced hundreds of commuters to disembark on the rail lines and sometimes walk to the next station or wait for a new coach to be deployed.