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Business

SM hopeful common rail station issue resolved by year-end

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - SM Prime Holdings Inc. hopes the standstill on the project that will link the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) would be resolved before the year ends, saying the company favors the construction of two common rail stations.

In an interview, SM Prime president Hans Sy told The STAR the company plans to resume talks with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) regarding the matter in about two weeks’ time after the buzz and action of the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Manila fades out.

The APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Manila will be held next week and will serve as the culminating activity of this year’s APEC Summit which the Philippines is hosting.

“Hopefully, anytime after the APEC we will be able to sit down and resolve the issue. We are more than willing to really resolve this but I think it would be after APEC already because everybody is so busy with the summit,” Sy said.

Sy said nothing has changed so far with the draft agreement presented by the DOTC to the company last August.

“It’s still conceptual and we have asked our lawyers to talk to them. What was offered to us as a solution is a concept only. And I don’t know how to stick to the concept because if it is a concept, then it can be changed,” he said.

Sy, however, said the company is hopeful the issue would be resolved before 2015 ends as SM sees no problem with the idea of putting up two common stations.

“We’re very open, we want to resolve it but we also want to be able to protect our interest as well. We’re okay on whatever they think is good for the people. What seems to be coming out is that it seems were against competition but no. In fact, we’re always fine with competition,” he said.

DOTC’s draft agreement presented to SM in August seeks to solve the deadlock on the common station that would link the LRT and MRT.

The proposal aims for the construction of two common stations, one located near the Ayala Group’s Trinoma Mall in Quezon City to connect LRT-1 and MRT-3, and the other near SM North EDSA to link MRT-7 and MRT-3, with the option to connect LRT-1.

DOTC’s compromise agreement is seen to appease SM Prime, which has obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Supreme Court preventing the government from transferring the LRT-MRT common train station near the Trinoma Mall instead of SM North EDSA Mall.

The DOTC hopes for the removal of the TRO and the immediate start of the train system’s construction with SM’s approval of the proposal.

ACIRC

ASIA PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION

AYALA GROUP

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS

HANS SY

LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT

METRO RAIL TRANSIT

PRIME HOLDINGS INC

QUEZON CITY

SY

TRINOMA MALL

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