New monorail done by 2016, says BCDA

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05:13 AM December 31st, 2011

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By: Paolo G. Montecillo, December 31st, 2011 05:13 AM

The planned railway system linking all business districts in Metro Manila is expected to be completed before the end of the Aquino administration, according to the Bases Conversion and Development Administration (BCDA).

BCDA president Arnel Casanova said Friday that the agency was in the final stages of finalizing its concept study for the project, which includes the alignment of the train line and the cost of construction.

“The project is moving along … If we are able to start construction on it as scheduled, hopefully, we’ll be done before 2016 if all goes well,” he said in an interview.

He said the BCDA still has to coordinate with several agencies, including the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Metro Manila Development Authority.

If the concept study is approved, he said the BCDA can move on to bidding out the contract for the drafting of a feasibility study that will determine the project’s viability.

He said the feasibility study will take several months to a year to complete. Once done, the BCDA can search for financing for the project.

Its options include having the project bid out as a public-private partnership (PPP), making it a fully government-funded project or sourcing overseas development assistance loans.

He said that because of its foreseen benefits to millions of Filipinos in Metro Manila, the new monorail system can become one of the highlight projects of the Aquino administration.

“We felt the need to improve the mass transport and connectivity of central business districts coming from Makati to Ortigas and the airport area,” Casanova said.

If it pushes through, the new train line would be called the Makati-Taguig-Pasay Monorail Alignment, which is meant to address the growing demand for efficient mass transport systems over the next five years.

BCDA chair Felicito Payumo said the projected monorail system would link up with the Metro Rail Transit (Taft to North Avenue), the Light Rail Transit line 1 (Baclaran to Roosevelt) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) system, which cuts across Metro Manila toward Southern Luzon.

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