The new proposed plan for the common station in Manila. Photo: YouTube.

Manila, The Philippines March 17 2017 – Local and foreign business groups in Manila have written a joint statement urging the government to quickly move forward with the long-planned common station in Manila. The eventual station will link the city’s three urban rail lines.

The statement read: ‘We fully support the memorandum of agreement [MOA] executed among the train operators of LRT 1, MRT 3 and MRT 7, and the Department of Transportation [DOTr] agreeing to the intersection of Edsa and North Avenue in Quezon City as the location of the common train station.’

The statement was cosigned by 13 groups including the Australian, European and American chambers of commerce as well as the Japanese and Korean chambers.
The statement went on to say: ‘The agreement is most laudable as it represents an important breakthrough of the almost decade-long impasse in the construction of a vital mass transportation hub in Metro Manila and coming so soon after the Duterte administration took over. The grand train station will finally close the missing link between the heavily used MRT-3 and LRT-1 as well as incorporate them with the recently approved MRT-7, whose construction is ongoing.’

The government responded yesterday, however, by saying it would not provide the $55 million needed to fund the station.
House of Representatives Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said the current plan was not a good replacement for the 2009 design, which was ditched and led to eight years of stalemate before a new location and design was proposed.
‘No, we won’t fund that because it would be disadvantageous to the government. The 2009 plan should be the one to be implemented because that model is the most convenient to the user’ Alvarez said.

He went on to chastise those in favour of the plan saying:
‘You refuse to build the terminal that has already been funded by government. You prefer the ambitious terminal’.

‘With this new common station, the commuters will still have long walks. We can’t go for that because commuters are in a hurry, especially in the morning so that they won’t be late for work. At the end of the day,
they would want to immediately reach home because they are already tired. Implementing the 2009 model is common sense, so I can’t understand why DOTr is pushing for this new one’ Alvarez finished by saying.

This video of the two stations encourages viewers to decide which station design they think would be better for the people of the city.