Quezon City suspends part of MRT-7 Quezon Memorial Circle construction

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 19) — Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte suspended the above-ground construction of the new Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC) station Monday.

According to a statement, Belmonte ordered a temporary cease and desist order of the above-ground construction of the station, and is now in discussion with the MRT developer San Miguel Corporation (SMC), contractor EEI Corporation, and the Department of Transportation (DoTr).

Belmonte clarified Wednesday that the construction of the train and railways beneath QMC will “proceed as planned” as it is not the subject of the cease and desist order.

She added that the “cease and desist order specific to the station which is to be located above the park or on the park itself.”

Environmentalists and historians also said that “the station was encroaching on the park’s integrity” as the QMC is a famous historical landmark in the city.

"We put a temporary stop to the construction of the QMC station because it would affect the landmark's identity as a national heritage park," Belmonte said.

Furthermore, Belmonte ordered a review of the project after she discovered that it has “greatly exceeded the agreed area of construction.”

READ: San Miguel says up to DOTr, Quezon City gov't to settle issues on MRT-7 station

The contractor indicated 4,997 square meters as the project’s floor area, but the proposed floor area is more than five times the approved figure.

"We want to look for a win-win solution that would protect our open spaces while advancing the welfare of thousands of commuters who will benefit from the mass transport project," Belmonte added.

The MRT-7 is part of the Duterte’s administration's seven mass transit infrastructure projects being undertaken in the city.