ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Groundbreaking for LRT-MRT common station set for Sept. 29
The common station linking Metro Manila's three railway systems is finally set for groundbreaking months after the private sector stakeholders and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) agreed on its location.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the groundbreaking ceremony will be held on September 29.
"Ito po 'yung lugar kung saan pinagsama-sama natin 'yung mga stakeholders... pati 'yung kaso sa Supreme Court nag-file na sila ng manifestation na maalis na," Tugade told reporters on the sidelines of the signing of the memorandum of agreement on Toll Collection Interoperability in Taguig City.
The common station connecting the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1), Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), and the currently under construction MRT-7 will rise at the junction of EDSA and North Avenue in Quezon City.
The 13,700-square meter station is estimated to cost P2.8 billion.
On January 18, heads of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., SM Prime Holdings Inc., Ayala Corp., and San Miguel Corp. signed a memorandum of agreement that the common station will be located between the 2009 original proposed site, in front of SM Annex, and the 2014 proposed location near the Ayala-managed TriNoma Mall, ending an eight-year deadlock.
Some lawmakers, including Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, earlier expressed concerns over the location of the common station, saying it puts businessmen's interest on top of commuters' convenience.
Tugade said the fact that a date has been set for the groundbreaking means all the problems raised earlier have already been addressed.
"'Di ba pag nag-groundbreak na ibig sabihin tuloy-tuloy na 'yung proyekto?" he said.
The common station project began to take shape in 2009 with a deal between the Light Rail Transit Authority and SM Prime Holdings to build it for the mass rail transit system near SM North EDSA.
But in 2013, then-Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) decided to build the station near Trinoma, citing a study that the government could supposedly save P800 million to P1 billion if the project is relocated closer to the Ayala-controlled mall.
SM Prime Holdings sued the DOTC and LRTA for breaching the 2009 agreement.
In 2014, the SC issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) in favor of SM Prime Holdings stopping the construction of the common station.
In May, the SC extended the TRO to cover the relocation of the common station.
The DOTr earlier said the parties involved will file a joint manifestation to ask the court to lift the TRO.
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