MANILA – Completion of the MRT-7 project was moved to August 2020 from August 2019 after hitting another roadblock in the acquisition of the 33-hectare depot in San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan, a transport official said Tuesday.
The 33.2 hectare property will be used for the San Jose Station and an inter-model transport terminal, Asec. Giovanni Lopez for Procurement and Project Implementation of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) told DZMM.
Delays were attributed to a Malolos court ruling that favored a land owner who sought a higher zonal value of the property at P1,800 per square meter from the original Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) valuation of P200 per sqm, Lopez said.
Under the ruling, the acquisition cost of the depot ballooned to P580 million from P67 million, or almost half of the P1.65 billion right of way budget for the whole MRT 7 project, he said.
“Ngayon po dahil sa utos ng husgado eh kahalati na po ng budget ubos na ho. Ano pong magiging epekto nito? Ang magiging epekto nito tataas po ang cost ng proyekto. Pag tumaas ang presyo dadaan na naman yan sa NEDA for approval. Madedelay na naman,” he said.
He said the transport department is set to appeal the decision by filing a petition for Certiorari this month.
The MRT-7 is a public-private partnership between the government and San Miguel Corp.