SMC hopeful of resolution of MRT Quezon Memorial station row

Following the issuance of a cease and desist order by the Quezon City government on the construction of the Quezon Memorial Circle station of the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT 7) project, concession holder San Miguel Corporation (SMC) Wednesday said it is hopeful that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the city government would be able to resolve issues with the design soon.

SMC also gave assurances that it will cooperate with stakeholders to deliver the project with minimal delays, even with a possible redesign of the station's above ground structure, which will be finalized with the DOTr.

On Tuesday, Mayor Joy Belmonte ordered the suspension of construction of the QMC station, saying it would affect the landmark's identity as a national heritage park.

She called for a win win solution to protect open spaces and advance the welfare of commuters.

The resolution of issues is really up to DOTr as main proponent, and the LGU. For us, while the order is a setback, we will do everything we can to make sure we keep to the timetable, and at the same time take into account the mayor's concerns. This includes revisions to the design, SMC president Ramon Ang said.

Ang said currently, most of the work at the Quezon Circle is still underground, and no major above ground structure has been built yet.

The design of the above ground station is still being finalized with DOTr, he said, as the city government expressed concerns about the original design, which was approved by the previous city administration.

The MRT 7 project, classified as a national infrastructure project, had been hobbled with delays from the time of the signing of the concession agreement in 2008.

SMC finally took over in 2016 and the project officially began with a groundbreaking ceremony at the Quezon Memorial Circle.

While further delayed by right of way issues, as of February 2020, the entire project was over 50 percent complete.

It is composed of 14 stations and aims to cut travel time from North Avenue to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan down to 35 minutes.

It is seen to ease traffic in Quezon City and is expected to serve 850,000 commuters once operational

Source: Philippines News Agency