President Benigno S. Aquino III meets with his Cabinet Secretaries at the President's Hall of Malacanang Monday (October 13) concerning the status of the MRT 3 maintenance. The President is concerned about negative reports he has been receiving regarding Metro Rail operations. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III meets with his Cabinet Secretaries at the President’s Hall of Malacanang Monday (October 13) concerning the status of the MRT 3 maintenance. The President is concerned about negative reports he has been receiving regarding Metro Rail operations. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Oct 14 (Mabuhay) – The deferment of the public bidding for the maintenance contract of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT) is “highly suspicious,” Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon said on Tuesday, noting “… the train line has a long history of anomalous dealings, which even the Ombudsman is now investigating.”

“We like to ask if this adjustment in the bidding schedule is being done to accommodate a favored bidder,” he added.

Sought for comment, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) spokesman Michael Arthur Sagcal said: “There is no basis for such suspicions.”

“The extension applies to all bidders – not any particular entity – and allows all groups more time to finalize their proposals,” Sagcal said.

According to a bid bulletin the DOTC bids and awards committee issued on Oct. 10, the deadline for the submission and opening of bids was moved to Oct. 28 at 2:00 pm from the original Oct. 17.

Sagcal said the bidding was deferred as “bidders requested for more time to finalize their bids, which indicated a good level of competition.”

The maintenance contract of Autre Porte Technique Global, Inc. (APT Global), which won the contract last year, expired on Sept. 3. DOTC though gave the company a new contract that is renewable each month. (MNS)