'Diskaril na ba?': Makati subway project to be affected by court ruling on Taguig

James Relativo - Philstar.com
'Diskaril na ba?': Makati subway project to be affected by court ruling on Taguig
Makati Mayor Abby Binay explains the route of the Makati subway project through the scale model along with (from left) Antonio L. Tiu, Claro Certeza, Ren Youmin, Ren Jin Hua, Rep. Luis Campos and Richard Amurao during the signing yesterday of the joint venture agreement between Makati City Government and Philippine Infradev Holdings, Inc. for the Makati subway project.
The STAR / KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — The Makati City subway system is currently in peril after the Supreme Court recently ruled that some areas previously within the said city's jurisdiction now lies within Taguig.

Phillipine Infradev Holdings, who is behind the railway's development, said that the ruling will hit the depot and some of the stations. The project is a joint venture between Infradev and Makati.

"Also, the alignment of the subway will no longer be feasible," Infradev added this Wednesday in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

"We will advise the [PSE] and the Securities & Exchange Commission for any further material developments on the matter."

A letter was already sent to the local government of Makati to discuss the changes and how to best proceed with the project.

To help commuters, the $3.7-billion Makati Intra-City Subway project started in December 2018.

The Makati LGU earlier projected that it would be fully functional this year. Included in the system are 10 underground stations in areas such as Ayala Triangle, Makati City Hall and University of Makati.

Taguig City and Makati City have long been fighting over the administration of various areas such as the Bonifacio Global City. 

The Department of Education is currently taking over 14 "embo" schools that used to be within the jurisdiction of Makati, also a result of the said territorial dispute.

Last August, Makati City Mayor Abbby Binay said that there is a possibility that she may run for Taguig's highest post after losing 10 barangays to Taguig.

Should Taguig be part of the project?

Transport advocacy network The Passenger Forum on Wednesday pleaded to both Infradev and Makati LGU to solve the new issues hounding the project — calling for a possible collaboration between the two cities if needed.

"We hope that they will find a workable solution as this is a very important mass transportation project and about 700,000 passengers are expected to ride and benefit from this subway on a daily basis," said TPF convener Primo Morillo.

"Commuters are really looking forward to having a subway in the heart of the busiest district in the country. If this requires including Taguig into the project, so be it. If this necessitates another JVA with Taguig, Infradev should do it and do it fast."

The group also said that negotiating with Taguig opens the possibilitty of an expansion deeper into Taguig, especially into BGC.

According to Morillo, it may even push the daily ridership closer to a million commuters, making it more efficient and helpful in solving Metro Manila's traffic woes.

Should Makati and Taguig fail to cooperate, the group proposed that the Department of Transportation or the Metro Manila Development Authority should take over on the side of the government.

"We appeal to the good mayors of Makati and Taguig to cooperate for the sake of the commuting public and the nation," the TPF's convener said.

"This is another way to save the project and it could even make the project better as it can go beyond the boundaries of those two cities."

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