A DECISION on the proposed Metro Rail Transit 7, envisaged to run from Quezon City to Bulacan, has been deferred by the Regional Development Council-National Capital Region (RDC-NCR) after some Metro Manila mayors raised concerns about the project.
During the RDC-NCR organizational meeting held at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) office in Makati City on Friday, the MRT7 project was referred to the council?s committee on infrastructure development and social development for review and a more thorough discussion.
The move came after Valenzuela City Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian and Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista asked the project proponent to allow the local government units (LGUs) to have a say in the project, particularly the location of terminals in their cities.
According to Mario Miranda, a consultant of Universal LRT Corp. Ltd., the firm that holds the contract to build the train line, they need the RDC-NCR clearance before construction can start.
?We need to get that RDC clearance because we have to show that to the banks and to the lenders and be able to say that here are LGUs all saying the same tune (sic), that this project is a go,? Miranda told reporters.
He added that the proponent was given 18 months by the government to complete financial closure or provide proof that money was at hand before it could start construction.
Miranda added that deferment of the project approval would result in its delay.
?But we will still hang on as long as we can. We submitted our proposal in 2001 and until now we haven?t gotten the government?s approval yet. I?ve spent so many years working in the government; one virtue I learned is patience. Just be patient,? he said.
The $1.2-billion MRT7 project seeks to build a combined 45-kilometer of road and rail line from the Bocaue exit of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) to the MRT3 at North Avenue-Edsa.