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Metro subway's first phase to link Quezon City, Taguig

Slide presented at the "Dutertenomics" forum on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 where President Rodrigo Duterte's top officials introduced planned construction projects. DOTr/Released

MANILA, Philippines — The first phase of the proposed Mega Manila Subway system will connect at least four stations from Quezon City to Taguig City as the Duterte administration's "most ambitious project."

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said at a forum on Tuesday that the subway system, pegged at an initial P227 million for the central section, will pass Mandaluyong City and Pasig City.

The transport system, the first subway project the country will undertake, is foreseen to accommodate around 300,000 commuters daily, Tugade said.

The proposed subway stems from an ongoing Japan International Cooperation Agency's feasibility study, which will be subject to the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte and his officials. The study is expected to be completed in July this year.

The Japanese agency's proposal aiming to ease road congestion includes an expansion of the subway to start from San Jose del Monte in Bulacan to Dasmariñas City in Cavite to be completed by 2024.

"The Mega Manila Subway will use the Japanese tunneling expertise," Tugade said.

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He added that the Mega Manila Subway Project agreement may be signed by Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in November. The project was initially planned to start in 2015 under then President Benigno Aquino III.

The subway was among the construction projects that key administration officials presented at the forum formally introducing "Dutertenomics," a nickname for the government's economic policy that focuses on infrastructure development and connectivity.

Projects presented include the NLEX-SLEX connector from Alabang to Balintawak, the NLEX Harbor Link, a tide embankment project in Leyte and a railway system linking Manila to Los Baños, Laguna. — Camille Diola

RELATED: Commentary: What's taking so long? Philippines' infrastructure challenge

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