What’s in a name? DOTr mulls renaming 2 new LRT-2 stations
MANILA, Philippines — Train stations in the Philippines are not named after the city where they are located. Rather, they are named after the nearest street or establishment.
Take the case of Monumento, 5th Avenue, and United Nations in the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1); Cubao, Legarda, and Recto in Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2).
If train stations are named after the city where they are located, then Quezon City would have a problem because there are at least 12 LRT-1, LRT-2, and the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) stations in the city.
Manila would also face a similar problem as it has 16 stations within its jurisdiction.
But Marikina and Antipolo do not share this problem, according to Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arturo Tugade.
“We’ll have to look at renaming the structure on its holistic sense. If this station is the only station in your place, perhaps it has a reason, it has logic to name it after that place,” Tugade said during the ceremonial laying of tracks at the LRT-2 extension’s proposed Emerald Station on Tuesday.
The secretary was reacting to a previous call of Marikina 1st District Rep. Bayani Fernando to name the Santolan station in Marikina to Marikina station. But his request was denied because part of Santolan also belongs to Pasig City.
Fernando delivered the welcome remarks at the event.
“Now that I have welcomed you,” Fernando said in jest, drawing laughter from the audience including Tugade. “This means that this station is in Marikina. And so, with that, I would pursue
our request to name this station ‘Marikina Station,’ instead of ‘Emerald.’
“When I was still mayor of Marikina, I asked the LRTA (Light Rail Transit Authority) to name the Santolan station as Marikina [station] because it’s in the boundary of Marikina and Pasig. But we were not given that opportunity,” he added.
But if Emerald is renamed Marikina station, Antipolo City Mayor Jun Ynares said the other station should also be named after their city as well.
“Pagtayo ko dito, si Mayor (Ynares) lumapit sa akin. Kung gagawin mong Marikina ‘yan, ‘yong kabila gawin mong Antipolo,” Tugade joked.
(When I stand up here, the Mayor will approach me to say that if I rename Emerald to Marikina station, I should also name the other station ‘Antipolo.’
Tugade has instructed DOTr officials along with LRTA Administrator Reynaldo Berroya and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Danilo Lim to study the suggestions.
“Inaantay siguro ng ating kaibigan na si Congressman Fernando na ako’y magreact sa kanyang pangunahing salita kanina na kung pwede, alisin ang pangalang Emerald at palitan ito sa Marikina,” he said in reply to Fernando’s speech.
(Congressman Fernando was probably waiting for me to react to his speech to rename Emerald station to Marikina station.)
“I was calling the attention and whispering words to General Berroya and General Lim. And we have agreed — all of us — that we will look with favor this recent request, and I instructed them to process [this], so this station should be named Marikina,” he added.
Big help on the east side
According to Fernando, the two stations would be of big help to people on the eastern side of Metro Manila, especially Marikina, which is home to many workers in Metro Manila.
“This station is a much welcome development for our city, which will bring more trade and commerce to our city, and give convenience to all Marikeneans, who are working in the city,” Fernando explained.
“Marikina being much more of a bedroom community, this will benefit us so much,” he added.
According to Tugade, the creation of the two stations will curb heavy traffic in the area and shorten travel time from Antipolo to Manila to just 40 minutes, from the current three hours.
“Imagine a situation where you travel from Claro M. Recto to Masinag, then on to Emerald. That will take easily three hours. With the construction of the two stations to be finalized by the fourth quarter of 2020, the travel time of three [hours] will be reduced to a maximum of 40 minutes,” Tugade said.
DOTr earlier said that around 80,000 people will benefit from the extension of the rail line once it is completed. Currently, commuters take jeepneys, taxis, or shuttles to go to or leave the Santolan station. /ee
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