February 13, 2017
POE: GO AFTER PAST OFFICIALS IN COMMON STATION DELAY
Government officials responsible for the long-winded delays in the construction of the common station that would link Metro Manila's three elevated railways should be hauled to court, Sen. Grace Poe said today.
Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services that spearheaded a legislative inquiry about 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.
"Huwag nating kalilimutan na dahil sa kanila, natali tayo nang walong taon diyan [sa pagkumpleto ng common station]. The government should not get into agreements and change the plan later on because investors will not come in. This should be a lesson learned," Poe said during 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 has 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.
"Yun ang hinihingi natin. Yung mga lumang kontrata na sinasabi nitong DOTr ay hahalungkatin nila para matunton natin yung mga tao na nasa likod nito," the senator added.
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 province.
"Kaya nagtagal ng ganito dahil may mga iligal at pansariling interes na nangyari at pinagbigyan. Kung merong dapat kasuhan, kasuhan 'yan."
The DOTr, for its part, hoped that the TRO would be "lifted by October this year" as the project will commence in December and is scheduled to be completed in April 2019.
"I hope that this would be for the interest of the public and not for the interest of a few," Poe said.
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