ADVERTISING firm TrackWorks Incorporated on Tuesday blamed personnel of a rival ad company for an incident that almost grounded the operations of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) late last week.

In a statement, Bing Kimpo, spokesperson of TrackWorks, said that “inexperienced” personnel of Media Puzzle Incorporated (MPI) were to blame for the incident where portions of the overhead cable system, which transports electricity along the rail system, caught fire.

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“Trackworks had no hand whatsoever in the accident,” Kimpo said.

The incident took place Thursday last week between the Santolan and Ortigas stations near the People Power Monument.

Kimpo added that minimal safety precautions and coordinating measures also led to the damage of motor vehicles which were struck by the affected advertising structures.

He said the clearing operations should have been conducted at a more appropriate time and that more coordinating activities should have been conducted with the proper agencies.

Trackworks and Media Puzzle are engaged in a legal battle involving the right to put advertisements at the mass transit system.

The company is currently seeking arbitration in its contractual dispute with MRT Development Corporation (MRT Devco), which in 2000 gave them exclusive advertising rights over the MRT-3 until December 2015.

Among other issues, Trackworks is claiming the return or credit of some P 2 million it overpaid MRT Devco as a concessional fee.

In its defense, MPI maintains that it is the rightful exclusive advertising manager agent of MRT Devco, the owner of all rights and assets within all MRT 3 System.

The company also said that MRT Devco terminated Trackworks’ contract in September last year after its failure to pay about P367 million worth of obligations as of December 31, 2009.

On April 15, 2010, MRT Devco Chairman Robert John Sobrepeña confirmed that MPI will now be the exclusive advertising manager of all advertising rights of MRT Devco.

This include marketing and selling advertising assets; billing and collecting all advertising revenues from contracts with advertisers; maintaining the advertising assets in the working condition in which they are found, and monitoring and administering the installation/placement/removal of all advertising materials; ensuring timely roll up and roll down of tarpaulins during typhoons affecting the advertising assets, among others. (AH/Sunnex)