Construction begins on Metro Manila Subway

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star
Construction begins on Metro Manila Subway
Officials stand next to a cutaway scale model of a Japanese tunnel boring machine, to be used in constructing the Metro Manila subway, as ceremonial groundbreaking for the project was held in Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela City yesterday. Photo shows (from left) Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Sen. JV Ejercito, HUDCC chairman Eduardo del Rosario and Rep. Cesar Sarmiento.
Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Manila Subway project, the country’s first underground railway system, is under way.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said his department has hired an engineering design consultant who will ensure continuity of the construction as the project calls for several civil works contracts.

Tugade emphasized that the succeeding phases of the project would be patterned after the first phase of construction.

Tugade said the first three stations of the project are to be completed by 2022, with the entire project to last until 2025.

He added that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is targeting to award the operation and maintenance contract of the project before its completion by the end of the year at the earliest.

On the sidelines of yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the 36-kilometer subway, Transportation Undersecretary for railways Timothy John Batan said the DOTr would bid out five more civil works contracts by the end of the year.

The design and build contract for the first three stations was recently awarded to the joint venture of Shimizu Corp., Fujita Corp., Takenaka Civil Engineering Co. Ltd. and EEI Corp.

The joint venture will be in charge of designing and constructing the subway’s partial operability section, which consists of its first three underground stations (Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora and North Avenue), tunnel structures, Valenzuela depot and the building and facilities for the Philippine Railway Institute.

Batan added that each package includes contracts for two to three stations.

The subway will have 15 stations, which will run from Quirino Highway to NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City and FTI in Taguig.

Batan said they will procure 19 eight-cart trains but noted that the DOTr may buy more trains.

“The system is designed for 10 carts, meaning all the stations can accommodate 10-cart trains,” Batan said.

The subway is expected to cut travel time from Quezon City to NAIA-3 to 30 minutes.

In its first year of full operation, the P357-billion rail system is expected to serve up to 370,000 passengers per day, with a capacity of 1.5 million passengers daily. – With Alexis Romero, Robertzon Ramirez, Paolo Romero

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