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DOTC ready to refund SM’s P200-M naming-rights fee for common station

THE Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is willing to return to SM Prime Holdings Inc. the P200 million it paid to the government for the naming rights of the common station that will link three mass railways in the metropolis.

“If they say they want it back then we will give it back,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said.

The DOTC was earlier eyeing SM North Annex as the location for the planned common station but later opted to build the facility near TriNoma, which is owned and operated by Ayala Land Inc.

Abaya said the decision to build the common station near TriNoma is final because, based on studies, it is cheaper to construct it there.

“I’ve heard that they don’t mind where the station would be once they have naming rights,” added Abaya.

The common station is envisioned to connect the Light Rail Transit, which runs from Baclaran to Roosevelt in Quezon City; Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3, which spans from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City; and the proposed MRT Line 7 that will run in Caloocan City, passing through Lagro and Fairview, Novaliches, Batasan, Diliman, Philcoa then at the corner of Edsa and North Avenue.

It is estimated that the cost to build the common station will reach P1.608 billion.

Abaya said the DOTC has yet to secure the green light from the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) for the project. “Once we get the Neda approval we are comfortable that we are going to construct it in a year’s time. We are looking at probably first or second quarter of 2015.”






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