February 13, 2017
TRANSCRIPT OF SEN. GRACE POE'S CONCLUDING REMARKS
In today's joint hearing of the Senate committee on public services and the committee on public works, we discussed the resolution that I filed--Senate Resolution No. 278 on the need for transparency in the concept, design and construction of the common station project for LRT-1, MRT-3 and the planned MRT-7.
To sum up the hearing:
1. Mr. Renato Reyes of Bayan told the committee the common station should be based on commuter convenience and least cost to the government. The current proposal, he said, costs more and does not really connect the three elevated rail lines, thus, inconvenient to commuters.
2. The current cost of the project is P2.8 billion, not including the cost the DPWH is going to incur to build an underpass due to the new arrangement.
3. Common station is actually not common with several operators.
4. Original idea was for three train systems to meet in one station. Under new arrangement, yellow line and red line will not meet - they need to pass through a "commercial atrium" to be constructed by Ayala.
5. Government should have reverted to the original plan. Commuters were not consulted before the arrangement was signed. This is according to Ms. Elvira but DOTr is now saying that they will still have consultations with NEDA.
6. The DOTr, represented by Atty. Timothy Batan, said the new common station is a "compromise" deal. If I may say so, and add also, the ones that we have here are staking their reputation saying that this is the best common station given the situation that we have now and not necessarily because of the agreement with SM and us being held hostage by the P200 million.
7. In the original plan, two tracks for the proposed MRT-7, one track each for MRT-3 and LRT-1 but longer loop time. In the 2010-2011 plan, an additional track was included. In the 2014 and the present plan, there are six tracks in the common station: two tracks for each rail line, so that will be expanded.
8. The current project is "future-proof" according to the DOTr, meaning the projected passengers to be serviced under the current design is 1.28 million (per day). In 2020, the projected passengers using the common station would be 478,000 (daily).
9. The DOTr assured there will be public consultations at the same time they will re-submit the plans to NEDA. Let me also tell you that if we approve the emergency powers version of the Senate, all you need is a NEDA approval and all the other permits of the government will no longer be necessary.
10. MoA between LRTA and SM was entered into in 2009. Naming rights were not bidded. Apparently, there was no basis for the P200 million naming rights and Sen. Gatchalian pointed this out. So I would like you to continue your research on this. We hope that Bayan will file a case against those responsible.
11. Area A of the common station to be built by government; Area B by a private corporation, maintained by MRT; and Area C to be built by San Miguel. They will be asking for the variations to be submitted, please do so.
12. There will be no concomitant increase in fares. This is categorically stated. Hindi po tataas ang pamasahe ng ating mga mananakay dahil dito sa common station although the plan is yet to be submitted to NEDA.
May we please remind the DOTr to conduct consultations with stakeholders. I hope that our conscience will also play a big part. In the end, this will be a legacy also, not just of this administration, but for all of you involved here. This will spell out the difference for your future grandchildren or your children when it comes to traffic and the fastest way to get to point A to point B. This is the future of travel now wherein the poor can actually use public transportation. So I hope that this will be for the interest of the public and not just for the interest of this administration or for the interest of private corporations.
With that, this hearing is hereby adjourned. Thank you very much.
Thursday, March 30
Wednesday, March 29