The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the private sector stakeholders have agreed to sign an agreement settling the contentious common station to connect the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) lines.
Among those who agreed build the common station are San Miguel Corporation (SMC) President and CEO Ramon Ang, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, and business tycoon Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II.
“All of them saw the importance of one, single station. All of them saw the difficulty of making people walk due to lack of connectivity of MRT and LRT,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said during deliberations on the P55.478-billion proposed budget of the DOTr for 2017 on Friday.
He said the memorandum of agreement is likely to be signed on September 28.
“The last meeting was held yesterday with no less that the head of stakeholders … Lahat po kahapon nag-agree na magpipirmahan ng agreement, hopefully by the end of this month,” Tugade said.
“All of them agreed that there’s got to be connectivity. Lahat po kahapon nag agree na magkakaroon ng common station,” Tugade added.
The common station will connect the LRT Line 1, the MRT Line 3 and the yet-to-be-constructed MRT Line 7.
The common station would rise somewhere between SM North EDSA and Trinoma mall, Tugade said, but did not elaborate.
The P63-billion MRT-7 is to be constructed by Universal LRT Corp. (ULC), a unit of San Miguel Holdings Corp. Once completed, the 22.8-kilometer MRT- 7 line would traverse the northeast direction of Quezon City, Caloocan, and Bulacan. It is designed to carry around two million passengers a year.
Meanwhile, the P65-billion LRT-1 Cavite extension project was awarded to the Light Rail Manila Consortium – a joint venture between MPIC and the Ayala Group.
The extension project would stretch the LRT-1 from Baclaran in Pasay City to Niog in Bacoor, Cavite.
Under the Aquino administration, the then-Department of Transportation and Communications decided to have the proposed P1.4-billion common station at the TriNoMa Mall – rather than in front of SM City North EDSA.
TriNoMa mall is owned by North Triangle Depot Commercial Corp., a 73.24-percent subsidary of Ayala Land Inc.
In 2014, however, SM Prime Holdings Inc. secured a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Supreme Court regarding. SM Prime cited an original agreement with the government on the matter in 2009. — VDS, GMA News