The initial three stations of the country’s first subway are seen to be operational by May 2022 if the construction will start midyear of 2018.
“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 or about P51 billionfirst tranche of official development assistance for the Metro Manila Subway Project Phase 1.
According to Dominguez, the first three subway stations targeted to open in May 2022 include 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 noted.
Dominguez also disclosed about the plan to extend the subway line to Bulacan and Cavite, adding that he is confident that the succeeding administrations will get this done.
The estimated 30-kilometer underground railroad is set to traverse Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport across 14 stations.
“The possible extension of one to two more stations is being planned by the Department of Transportation,” Dominguez added.
“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,” he furthered.
“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,” he said.
Meanwhile, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Philippines Chief Representative Yoshio Wada expressed the Japanese aid agency’s support for the subway project, saying that JICA “offers our support to the construction of the subway porject so the Philippines can sustain its growth trajectory, and improve the quality of life of many Filipinos through seamless mobility and connectivity.”