Construction of $1.2-B MRT 7 to start in January
- Dino Balabo () - August 30, 2008 - 12:00am

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, Bulacan — Mayor Eduardo Roque disclosed that the construction of the $1.2-billion Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 7 system that will link the MRT along EDSA in Quezon City to this city would start in January next year.

Roquero said the new railway system is expected to provide an easy access to Central Luzon from Metro Manila 

“The project proponent had posted the $10-million bond after the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) two months ago,” Roquero said, referring to Universal Light Rail Transit Corp. (ULRTC), which will lead the construction project.

The 20.7-kilometer MRT-7 will link MRT’s EDSA-North Avenue terminal in Quezon City to the proposed inter-modal station in Barangay Tungkong Mangga here where at least 200 hectares of land was acquired for the construction of an industrial complex.

Roquero said aside from the usual benefit of better mass transport system between the two cities which will cut travel time by half, the MRT-7 will provide at least 20,000 jobs to local residents during the construction phase alone.

Since the project was proposed last year, the city government has started the training of local residents for possible employment.

Roquero said the city government had allocated P5 million from its annual investment fund to train local construction workers.

The local government also offers short computer, secretarial and janitorial courses to prepare residents for new jobs when the Tungkong Mangga industrial complex opens and will become a “super city within a city.”

Mar Canonigo, the incoming city administrator, told The STAR that the 200-hectare property in Barangay Tungkong Mangga that will host the inter-modal station would also be home to malls, high-rise office and residential buildings.

“It’s a dream that we will be realized in our lifetime,” said Canonigo, an urban poor leader whose family was transferred to Barangay Sapang Palay resettlement area here in the 1960s.

He said the city’s more than 500,000 residents need the MRT-7, which will generate new job opportunities for the people. 

Dante Navarro, city information officer, said the light rail project would boost local economic activity and transform the whole town, which became a city after a plebiscite on Sept. 10, 2000.  

“We have so much manpower, but less opportunities before,” said Navarro.

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