By Chito Chavez
A Quezon City councilor has strongly pushed for the deferment of the “Metro Manila Subway Project’’ insisting the inadequacy of public hearings involving key local officials.
In bidding for the project to be held in abeyance, Councilor Victor Ferrer Jr. questioned why public hearings were only held at the barangays level where the project will run through.
He asserted the need for a more active participation of the members of the city council considering the magnitude of the project.
Ferrer said seven stations namely at Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora, North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, East Avenue, Anonas and Katipunan Avenue will be built in the first subway project in the country.
“The public hearing for the subway project should have been at the city hall where the councilors and other key officials could have participated lengthily,’’ Ferrer said.
Ferrer was also puzzled and perplexed why the subway line project will take the course of the “west side’’ which he viewed as less traffic prone.
He insisted the subway line should have been constructed along the traffic-prone route of EDSA instead of the approved course.
Refusing to admit the existence of corrupt, anomalous or sweetheart deals in the mass transport project, Ferrer insisted the proposed subway should have been built where “there is a much greater traffic-build-up which is not the case in the current west side route’’.
Reacting to claims that more underground utility lines will be affected if the project was done on EDSA, Ferrer said that engineering boring methods could have been done 100 feet or even 100 meters deep to resolve the problem.
Ferrer also raised some points of discussion on the said project which badly necessitate a more extensive public hearing or series of public hearings that should have included members of the city council.
Among the points raised by Ferrer are what are the economic benefits of the project to the city government?, its effect to the residents during the construction period, its impact on the environment and safety nets (flooding, erosion etc.), employment of local residents and resources and safety devises, noise reduction, traffic control, and other operation matters.
With these concerns, Ferrer in his resolution said that appropriate public hearings be convened to determine how the construction of the subway will affect local residents.
He also has sought that all relevant permits for the subway construction be held in abeyance until the city council has satisfactorily conducted the needed public hearings and has passed a resolution that it has no further objection or concern relative to the said project.