‘Officials tied to delay should be charged’

SENATOR Grace Poe on Monday said charges should be filed against government  officials responsible for the eight-year delayed construction of the common station that would link Metro Manila’s three elevated railways.

Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services that spearheaded a legislative inquiry into the MRT-LRT common station, said past Transport officials, in effect, held hostage the completion of the common station, which had been in limbo for nearly eight years.

“Let us not forget that  because of them, we were held hostage for eight years—the completion of the common station,” said Poe.

She said the  government should not get into agreements and change the plan later on because investors would not come in, adding that should be a lesson learned.

SENATE HEARING. The Senate starts Monday a joint hearing on the construction of common station project linking the Light Rail Transit 1 and Metro Rail Transit lines 3 and 7. The construction of the common station is expected to start in December 2017 and completed by April 2019 after the transport department and other parties signed the memorandum of agreement last month. Lino Santos
In the hearing, Poe said she asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to furnish her committee a copy of the previous agreements on the common station.

“In the past, whoever approved the previous agreement with naming rights as well as those who whimsically reneged on the same, all without public consultations and due regard to public interest, should be held accountable because of the undue delay that plagued this project,” Poe said.

“We are asking for the contract the DOTr has been talking about. We have to look into it to determine the persons behind this contract,” said Poe.

In a move that finally ended the impasse, the DOTr signed last Jan. 18 with local conglomerates an agreement for the construction of the common station at Edsa and North Avenue in Quezon City that would link LRT-1 from Caloocan, the Edsa MRT-3 and the proposed MRT-7 which will originate from San Jose del Monte in Bulacan.

The DOTr, for its part, hoped the TRO would be “lifted by October this year” as the project would commence in December and would, by schedule, be completed in April 2019.

“I hope this would be for the interest of the public and not for the interest of a few,” Poe said.

Topics: Senator Grace Poe , MRT-LRT common station , Transport department , Light Rail Transit 1 , Metro Rail Transit lines 3
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