MANILA, Philippines – Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte lifted the cease and desist order against the construction of the aboveground Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT7) station at the Quezon Memorial Circle on Friday, February 28.
The cease and desist order was issued last February 18 due to the planned station's potential impact on the site's national park status. The initial design was approved as far back as the term of former Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista.
Representatives from EEI Corporation and San Miguel Corporation, the contractor and developer of the project respectively, came up with a revised design proposing the aboveground structure to be a utility room. The revised design reduced the aboveground construction from almost 11,000 square meters to 426 square meters, and the height from 12 meters to 6 meters.
"We thank EEI and SMC for taking into consideration the concerns of the people of Quezon City, who consider the park and the pylon the most important landmarks of the city, by taking steps to adjust the design and reduce the height of the station, thereby preserving the park's integrity. This is truly a win-win solution," Belmonte said.
The proposed redesign will allow the symbolic pylon of the Quezon Memorial Circle to remain in full view.
The 14-station MRT7 will run for 23 kilometers from North Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan. It aims to reduce travel time from Manila to Bulacan from two hours to just 34 minutes.
Transportation Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said partial operability will begin by 2021 and full revenue service by 2022.
"Currently, almost 55% complete na tayo. Lahat ng mga tren, lahat ng mga bagon, tapos na. Na-test at ready na i-ship from [South] Korea. Makikita natin na 'yung mga viaducts ay halos patapos na rin, at ang stations ay tinatapos na," Batan said in a statement.
(Currently, we are almost 55% complete. All of the trains and railroad cars are completed. We have tested them and they are ready to be shipped from South Korea. We will see that the viaducts are almost finished and the stations are nearing completion.) – Rappler.com
Loreben Tuquero is a researcher-writer for Rappler. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, she covered transportation, Quezon City, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as a reporter. She graduated with a communication degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.