By Louella D. Desiderio | The Philippine Star | August 3, 2015
MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is looking to come up with a compromise agreement this week to address the impasse on the common train station to link the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT).
Transportation Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla told reporters the DOTC, Light Rail Manila Consortium (LRMC), Universal LRT Corp. (ULC) and SM Prime Holdings Inc. have agreed in principle on the proposal to construct two common stations to connect LRT-1, MRT-3 and the planned MRT-7.
“I think I’ve already solved it. I think I’ve already gotten agreement,” Lotilla said.
He said a document for the compromise agreement among the parties is currently being drafted and the DOTC hopes this would be signed by the parties this week.
The compromise agreement is necessary as SM has obtained a stay order from the Supreme Court preventing DOTC from pursuing a plan to construct a common train station near Trinoma Mall.
SM cited an agreement entered into with the LRT Authority in 2009 to put up the common train station near SM North EDSA Mall.
The DOTC earlier picked the Trinoma Mall for the location of the common train station, citing savings to be generated from such move.
Following the temporary restraining order (TRO), the DOTC decided to pursue two common stations to resolve the conflict with SM.
Under the two common stations proposal, the first common station to connect MRT-3 and LRT-1 would be located near Trinoma Mall, while the other to link MRT-3 and MRT-7 with option to connect to LRT-1, would be near SM North EDSA Mall.
The LRMC composed of Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp., won the P65 billion LRT-1 Cavite Extension project.
ULC, a unit of San Miguel Holdings Corp., holds the concession for the P63 billion MRT-7 which would run from North Avenue in Quezon City up to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya earlier said the DOTC is hopeful an agreement among all parties would be reached as soon as possible so the TRO could be lifted.
“(We want the TRO lifted) as soon as possible because that’s also somewhat conditioned on the financial closure of MRT-7,” he said.
ULC is aiming to meet its February 2016 deadline for the financial closure of the MRT-7 project.