DOTC sets talks with SM Prime on common station impasse

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The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will seek talks with SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPHI) to resolve the impasse surrounding the planned common station for Metro Manila’s two elevated railways system.

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“Kausapin namin [We will talk to them]. We’re supposed to present to SM what we have agreed upon with ULC and LMRC,” DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya told reporters.

Abaya was referring to Universal LRT Corporation, the proponent of MRT-7, which will run from San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan to North EDSA in Quezon City, and Light Rail Manila Consortium, which won the contract to build and operate LRT-1 South Extension which runs from Baclaran to Bacoor and tendered under the PPP framework.

LMRC is a partnership between Ayala Corp. subsidiary AC Infrastructure Holdings, Metro Pacific Investment Corporation and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings.

“This week. Our undersecretary for legal [affairs]will sit down with them,” Abaya added.
In April, SMPHI said that it hopes the government will respect an existing contract that the common station for the elevated railway along Edsa in Quezon City will be located in front of SM North EDSA.

The DOTC earlier stated that the contract to build two common stations for Metro Manila’s two elevated railways systems would be signed soon.

The agency said the second common station, as proposed by San Miguel Corp.’s ULC, will be built in front of SM North EDSA, connecting Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and the future MRT-7. The government will not spend a centavo for the second station.

SMPHI has questioned the DOTC’s decision to build the common station connecting the LRT and the two MRTs in front of Trinoma Mall in Quezon City, which is owned by the Ayala group.

SMPHI said that decision violates an earlier contract between SM Prime and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) which provides that the common station should be built beside SM North Edsa.

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