1st 3 Metro Manila subway stations seen operational by 2022
The initial three stations of the country’s first subway would be operating by May 2022, government officials said Friday, with the right-of-way needed to start building them ready to be delivered by midyear.
“In line with the ‘fast and sure’ approach, the Philippine government processed the loan approvals for this project within six months only, from the National Economic and Development Authority Board approval on Sept. 12, 2017 up to the signing of the loan agreement today,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a speech after the signing ceremony of the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s 104.5-billion yen (about P51 billion) first tranche of official development assistance for the Metro Manila Subway Project Phase 1.
Dominguez said the government was “targeting May 2022 to begin operation of the first three of the subway stations—Mindanao Avenue-Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora, and North Avenue.”
“The entire central zone will be operational by 2025, including the commercial space for the subway stations that will help defray the cost of operating this facility,” Dominguez said.
There is a plan to extend the subway line to Bulacan in the north and Cavite in the south, Dominguez added, saying he was “confident that the succeeding administrations will get this done.”
The about 30-kilometer underground railroad would run between Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport across 14 stations, “with the possible extension of one to two more stations being planned by the Department of Transportation,” according to Dominguez.
“The project includes a depot in Valenzuela, electro-mechanical systems and rolling stock, and the establishment of a Philippine Railway Institute. The institute will provide training as well as do research and development on regulation, train operations and maintenance. This will build a corps of expert train personnel to manage not only the subway system but all the commuter rail lines of the country. It is about time that our commuter lines be run by real experts,” Dominguez said.
“The detailed engineering design for the subway, which is being funded under a Jica grant, is currently ongoing. The design includes flood management features and applies the best seismic technology there is. We will acquire tunnel boring equipment to hasten the construction period. The Philippine government commits to working on this project ‘25/8’ to get it done at the soonest possible time,” Dominguez added.
New Jica Philippines chief representative Yoshio Wada said the Japanese aid agency “offers our support to the construction of the subway project so the Philippines can sustain its growth trajectory, and improve the quality of life of many Filipinos through seamless mobility and connectivity.”
Transportation Undersecretary Timothy John R. Batan told reporters in a press conference that since the right-of-way for the project would be mostly subterranean, these would be easier to acquire compared with at-grade or elevated infrastructure projects.
For the first three stations, Batan said notices of taking were already issued last February.
For these stations and the depot, the DOTr was on track to deliver the right-of-way in the third quarter, Batan added.
According to Batan, a number of stations would rise within government properties, such as in Veterans Memorial Center for North Avenue station, within Camp Aguinaldo property for Katipunan station, a Bases Conversion and Development Authority property for a station at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, as well as a Philippine Air Force property in Villamor Airbase for the Naia station.
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