By Darwin G. Amojelar | The Standard | November 24, 2015
The SM Group rejected the concept presented by the Transportation Department to build two common stations for Metro Manila’s overhead train system in Quezon City, a top executive said Monday night
“As I have said what was presented was only the concept—and we felt concept is not enough. We would appreciate if it was the compete set of plans. You cannot approve on concept, if it’s a concept it can still be changed,” SM Prime Holdings Inc. president Hans Sy told reporters at the sidelines of the re-launch of Mabuhay Miles by Philippine Airlines.
Sy said the SM Group was open to any proposal of the Transportation Department for either two common stations or one near Trinoma in Quezon City.
“We are not even setting any conditions, we don’t want to set conditions. What I can tell you right now we are still open to what they want. But we want something more fixed,” he added.
The Transportation Department earlier said it would pursue two common stations, one near SM North Edsa and the other beside Trinoma Mall, owned by Ayala Land Inc.
The agency’s strategy of building two common stations aims to resolve a conflict with the SM Group.
SM Prime earlier secured a Supreme Court stay order, barring the department from transferring the location of the common station to Trinoma Mall.
The Transportation Department decided to relocate the common station to Trinoma from SM North, citing P1 billion worth of savings the government would realize from the transfer.
Under an earlier agreement between SM Prime and state-run Light Rail Transit Authority, the common station would be situated beside SM North Edsa. SM Prime already paid the government P200 million for the naming rights for the proposed station.
Metro Pacific Investments Corp. chairman Manuel Pangilinan earlier said the best solution to resolve the issue on common station was to build it somewhere between SM North Edsa and Trinoma shopping mall.
Pangilinan said the two common stations for MRT Line 3, LRT Line 1 and the proposed MRT Line 7 would be inefficient.
MPIC and Ayala Corp. lead the Light Rail Manila Consortium, which won the contract for the LRT 1 Cavite extension project, including the design of the common station near Trinoma.