Metro Manila to kick off construction of P350-B subway in January
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is set to hold the groundbreaking event for its P350-billion subway project in Metro Manila by next month.
The ceremonial milestone was supposed to happen on Dec. 19, however, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a recent interview that there were scheduling issues due to the Christmas break.
He said they agreed with their counterpart in Japan, which would fund the project through an overseas development assistance loan, to hold the groundbreaking event by the middle of January 2019.
The project, known as the Mega Manila subway, will span at least 25 kilometers. It will link Quezon City in the north to Taguig City in the south. It will also have an added connection to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The project was given the go-ahead by the board of the National Economic and Development Authority in September.
Tugade had said the entire system would be finished by 2025. However, the DOTr is hoping to open the first three stations by 2022, the year President Duterte steps down from office.
The subway’s proposed stations would be located on Mindanao Avenue, Tandang Sora, North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, East Avenue, Anonas, Katipunan, Ortigas North, Ortigas South, Kalayaan Avenue, Bonifacio Globe City, Cayetano Boulevard and the Food Terminal Inc. complex.
The subway project would help address worsening road congestion in Metro Manila. The Japan International Cooperation Agency earlier said daily economic losses from traffic amounted to some P3.5 billion as of 2017.
The DOTr’s Mega Manila subway project would have been the Philippines’ first and only underground train system in the pipeline.
This was before the announcement of a second subway project backed by the private sector and the local government of Makati City, home to the country’s financial district.
Businessman Antonio Tiu’s Philippine Infradev Holdings Inc. (IRC) was awarded in October the right to build and operate the underground train system by the Public Private Partnership Selection Committee of Makati City, which will be a partner in the venture.
IRC had also tapped Chinese partners for the project, which is estimated to cost $3.7 billion or P196 billion. Other members of the consortium include Greenland Holdings, Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group, Kwan On Holdings and MingTu Investment Holdings.
Earlier this month, IRC led a soil-testing event ahead of the groundbreaking of its subway, which will serve key areas in Makati City.
The proposed stations include Edsa-Ayala Avenue, Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati Central Park, Makati City Hall, Rockwell Center, EDSA-Guadalupe and Ospital ng Makati.
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