MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has chosen Tutuban Center in affordable shopping haven Divisoria as the transfer station for passengers of the proposed P171-billion ($3.83-million) North-South rail project.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), Prime Orion Philippines Incorporated said its subsidiary Tutuban Properties Incorporated has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the DOTC and the state-run Philippine National Railways (PNR) on Wednesday, April 1.
Tutuban Properties is the developer and operator of the Tutuban Center in Divisoria.
Under the MOU, the parties involved agreed to cooperate in the finalization and completion of the plans of the North-South rail project within a period of 6 months.
Prime Orion chief executive officer Yuen Po Seng earlier said the company is looking at increasing the leasable space at the Tutuban Center to about 100,000 square meters over the next two to 3 years from the current 60,000 square meter.
The DOTC is pursuing the 653-kilometer North-South rail project under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme. It covers an elevated portion from Malolos in Bulacan to Tutuban and the south line from Tutuban to Legazpi City in Albay.
Meanwhile, DOTC is also planning the west extension of Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT2) to the port of Manila from the current end in Recto.
Tutuban Center would have a station connecting both the North-South rail and LRT2.
The DOTC is also bidding out a contract for the operation and maintenance of LRT2 that would cover the proposed P9.7-billion ($217.51 million) extension project to Masinag in Cainta, Rizal from Santolan in Pasig City, as well as the proposed extension all the way to the port area in Manila.
Prime Orion said initial studies showed that the interconnection is expected to bring in additional 400,000 foot traffic per day to Tufuban Center’s area.
“This project is in line with the government’s thrust to establish a more reliable and efficient mass transport infrastructure system which will greatly benefit the riding public and the country,” the company added.
Prime Orion also owns Orion Property Development Incorporated, FLT Prime Insurance Corporation, Orion Maxis Incorporated; and Orion Solutions, Incorporated.
The agency has awarded a P2.27-billion ($50.90-million) contract to DMCI for the construction of a viaduct further extending the LRT2 by 4.14 km.
It has also prequalified 4 groups for the operations and maintenance PPP contract for LRT2, namely Aboitiz-SMRT Transport Solutions consortium, DM Consunji Incorporated-Tokyo Metro Company Limited consortium, Light Rail Manila Holdings 2 Incorporated consortium of
Ayala Corporation and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, and San Miguel Corporation-Korea Railroad Corporation consortium. – Rappler.com
US$1 = PP44.60