SAN MIGUEL CORP. (SMC) is proposing to extend the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7), which is currently under construction, to Bocaue, Bulacan.

SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang said the company has already submitted the proposal to Department of Transportation (DoTr) to extend P62.7-billion MRT-7, which will run from North Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan.

Na-submit na a month ago or something (It was submitted a month ago),” Mr. Ang told reporters on Dec. 1. “Kung bigyan… nila ng extension ngayon, ngayon pa lang pwede na nating simulang trabahuin ‘yung going to Bocaue (If they will give the extension now, we start on extending the project to Bocaue).”

Mr. Ang said SMC is willing to advance the funds for right-of-way (ROW) acquisition. “Kami ang mag-aadvance sa pagbili ng right-of-way, lahat. Kami na lahat (We will advance the money for right-of-way, everything. We will do everything).”

SMC is the proponent of the MRT-7 project , which “involves the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the 23-kilometer elevated railway line with 14 stations from San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan to MRT 3 North Avenue in Quezon City and the 22-kilometer asphalt road from Bocaue Interchange of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) to the intermodal terminal in Tala.”

The road component will divert northern provincial buses operation to San Jose Del Monte, as a way to decongest EDSA.

Once operational, the MRT-7 is expected to accommodate an estimated 300,000-850,000 passengers a day, according to the DoTr.

The project was 49.15% complete as of October, the DoTr said. — Arjay L. Balinbin