Rails Needed for $ 81.6-M Trains Intended for Cavite LRT Project

Article excerpt

Train coaches worth about $ 81.6 million (more than P3.83 billion) are in danger of becoming white elephants unless the government decides soon to build the structures, including the rails, for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) extension project up to Cavite.

This was gathered yesterday from Filipino construction mogul Philip Cruz of Filsystems Consortium who also accused the LRT administration of committing serious irregularities in the bidding for the LRT Line 1 extension being constructed along E. de los Santos Avenue (EDSA).

Appearing in a congressional hearing called by the House Committee on Oversight, Cruz said the LRT Administration (LRTA) allegedly infringed on his copyright of the LRT 1 extension plan which the state-owned firm adopted without his knowledge.

LRTA president Melquiades Robles laughed off Cruz's charges as mere sour graping for losing the billion peso contract to an equally big local construction firm, the DM Consunji Inc. (DMCI)

Robles said he is ready to confront Cruz with the facts of the train purchase made two years ago.

"With regards to the alleged bidding irregularities, Cruz should have challenged the proceedings as provided under Republic Act 9184 or the Procurement Law. He should have exhausted these remedies instead of going to the House and the media," Robles said.

According to him, the supposed copyright infringement issue should be presented to the courts.

Robles explained that the trains delivered out of the $86.1 million contract were used as part of the capacity expansion program of the LRTA.

"That's ridiculous, the trains have been rolling for two years now. The Cavite LRT extension will have its own trains, not these ones," he stressed. "He is a losing bidder, he has an ax to grind against us. …