March 12, 2019

Metro Manila Subway: The First in the Philippines

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  • UPDATED March 12, 2019

    Metro Manila’s first subway system just seemed like a good dream when it was first brought to light, but it seems like the dream is slowly turning into reality as time progresses.

    Here’s a briefer of everything we know about the Metro Manila Subway, so far.

    Metro Manila Subway: PH’s first

    The Metro Manila Subway is a flagship project of the Duterte administration under its Build, Build, Build program. Aside from being the country’s first underground railway system, the 36-kilometer subway is also the most expansive. It aims to address and improve the transportation system of Metro Manila and its surrounding urban areas.

    The first subway in the Philippines is set to have 15 stations in total, which will start from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City and end at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). It looks to serve at least 370,000 passengers each day, but its design’s maximum capacity can accommodate up to 1.5 M passengers every day.

    Also read: Proposed Mega Manila Subway to be built by 2024

    PH-Japan partnership

    A US$ 934.75-million loan agreement between the Philippine Government and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was signed last March 2018, signaling the start of the Metro Manila Subway Project. The loan will finance the construction of the first phase of the country’s first subway.

    The $934.75-million loan is only the first of the initial funding that will cover around 73 percent of JICA’s part in the total project cost of $7.1 billion. The rest of the funds will be shouldered by the Philippine government.

    Present in the loan signing were Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno, and Transportation Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan. The Japanese government was represented by incoming JICA Chief Representative Yoshio Wada, outgoing Chief Representative Susumo Ito, and Noboru Kageyama from the Japanese Embassy.

    Also read: JICA releases plans for Mega Manila Subway

    A sealed deal

    Last February 20, 2019, the main contract for design and build of the subway was signed between the Philippine government and Japan. The contract initiates construction of the first three stations: Quirino Highway-Minadano Avenue Station, Tandang Sora Station, and North Avenue Station. The three stations are looked to begin running by the year 2022.

    Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Atty. Reinier Paul Yebra represented the Philippine government, while Shimizu Corporation’s Manila Branch General Manager, Makoto Fujii, signed on behalf of the Joint Venture among Shimizu Corporation, Fujita Corporation, Takenaka Civil Engineering Co., Ltd., and EEI Corporation.

    Groundbreaking of the “project of the century”

    February 27 marked the groundbreaking of Philippine’s first subway system at Barangay Ugong in Valenzuela City. DOTr ensured that the system is well-equipped with proven Japanese technologies to sustain it from natural disasters (weather and seismic).

    Also read: PH to receive Japan initial funding for Metro Manila subway in March

    DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade also inspected the Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM), subway flood control equipment, and other technologies connected to railway operations during his Japan visit.

    The Metro Manila Subway is eyed to be fully operational by the year 2025.

    Sources: DOTr (1), DOTr (2), and Entrepreneur
    Images grabbed from DOTr Facebook page

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