By Louella D. Desiderio | The Philippine Star | August 10, 2015

MANILA - The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has presented its draft agreement to SM Prime Holdings Inc. to address the deadlock on the common station that would link the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT).

“(The) copy of the draft (was) given to SM for review,” Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, DOTC undersecretary for legal affairs said in a text message.

Under the DOTC’s draft agreement, two common stations would be constructed, with one located near the Ayala Group’s Trinoma Mall in Quezon City to connect LRT-1 and MRT-3, and the other near SM North Edsa Mall to link MRT-7 and MRT-3, with the option to connect LRT-1.

A compromise agreement among all parties is needed as SM has earlier obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Supreme Court (SC) preventing DOTC from transferring the LRT-MRT common train station near the Trinoma Mall instead of SM North EDSA Mall.

SM sought for a stay order citing an agreement it entered into with the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) in 2009 to put up the common train station near its SM North EDSA Mall.

After SM’s review and approval, DOTC Secretary Joseph Abaya said the agreement would be brought to the high tribunal in order for the TRO to be lifted.

Lotilla said earlier SM as well as other parties involved such as Light Rail Manila Consortium (LRMC) and Universal LRT Corp. (ULC) have agreed in principle on the two common stations proposal.

LRMC which is composed of Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp., won the P65 billion LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project and right to design the first common station near Trinoma Mall under the concession.

ULC, a unit of San Miguel Holdings Corp., holds the concession for the planned P63 billion MRT-7 running from North Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

Abaya said the lifting of the TRO would not just resolve the common station impasse but also enable ULC to start work on MRT-7.

“They (ULC) have a deadline (on MRT-7). February (2016) is the last month for financial close. Otherwise, they are required to go back to ICC (Investment Coordination Committee), ” he said.