- A lawmaker stressed that public good, not business interest, should be the primary consideration in resolving the issue over the construction of common terminal
- The common terminal will link several lines of Metro Rail Transit and Light Rail Transit
- Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo said Congress should ensure that the project should primarily benefit taxpayers and the riding public
The public good, not business interest, must be the primary consideration in resolving the issue over the common terminal linking several lines of MRT and LRT, a lawmaker stressed; as he called for a “congressional review” of the compromise memorandum of agreement (MOA) that the government signed on Wednesday with three business tycoons.
“Regardless of where the common terminal is built, the bottom line should be that it is seamless and not inconvenience commuters or make them walk over long distances to transfer from one train to another,” Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo said on Facebook.
The common station will connect Light Rail Transit Line 1 and Metro Rail Transit Lines 3 and 7; making it more convenient for passengers to transfer from one train line to another.
As the project aims to benefit the public, Castelo said he wants the House of Representatives to look into the MOA so that the Congress could ensure that the agreement will “primarily benefit taxpayers and the riding public, not any of the contending business conglomerates”; saying that the public convenience is the “one and only reason for building a common terminal and if that cannot be achieved there is no use building it at all.”
The agreement was signed by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar with LRT Authority Administrator Reynaldo Berroya, SM Prime Holdings Inc. Executive Chairman Hans Sy, Light Rail Manila Corp. Vice Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, San Miguel Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang, and North Triangle Depot Commercial Corp. represented by Ayala Land Inc. Vice Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.
Under the MOA, the cost of building the common terminal has reached more than three times from the original P 780 million to P 2.8 billion.
Castelo wants to make sure that the additional cost will not be passed on to taxpayers; saying is not their fault that “some business interests led to the change in the transfer of the terminal’s location.”
“Let those business interests pay for the cost and do not allow them to recover it from commuters through high fare rates later on,” he stressed.