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Party-list lawmaker urges Congress to probe P2.7-B payment for MRT coaches

Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list Representative Jericho Nograles on Monday urged Congress to look into allegations that the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) management has approved to pay its Chinese supplier P2.7 billion even if the trains are "practically unusable."

"The present MRT-3 management is failing our people and is giving the Duterte administration a bad name. Manalo should really shape up and make sure that he is protecting the interest of our commuters and not these big business interests and contractors," Nograles said in an emailed statement.

"MRT-3 OIC-General Manager Deo Leo Manalo should be questioned on why he is over enthusiastic in endorsing a 70 percent payment to Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corporation amounting to P2.7 billion for the purchase of 48 new MRT coaches which were delivered but are practically unusable due to the absence of some components and the lack of critical tests and documentation," Nograles said

Last year, the government ordered 48 new coaches to expand the mass rail transit system's operations by as much as 67 percent.

"What happens if it turns out that all these coaches are not compatible with our present system? Can Manalo make a guarantee that Dalian would immediately replace them after giving them the P2.7-billion down payment?" Nograles said.

"They should at least wait for all the coaches to be fitted with all the on-board electronic and mechanical components and conduct tests, including interoperability test with the old MRT coaches before we make the payments," he added. — Jon Viktor Cabuenas/VDS, GMA News