Work begins on 'crown jewel' Metro Manila Subway Project

Work begins on 'crown jewel' Metro Manila Subway Project
Government officials broke ground for the two main stations of the planned Metro Manila Subway Project in Pasig City on October 3, 2022.
The Philippine STAR / Jesse Bustos

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government has started construction on the Metro Manila Subway Project, starting with two of the subway’s main stations in Pasig City.

This comes nearly 50 years after the 1973 Urban Transport Study was done for the Manila Metropolitan Area, which helped with planning for projects that aid transport needs of the growing population. 

The project will span 33.1 kilometers, running from Valenzuela City to Bicutan in Taguig, with 17 stations and a fleet of eight-car train sets that can accommodate as many as 2,242 passengers each. Trains will operate at 80 km/h, with a maximum speed of 120 km/h. 

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President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said the subway could open up more economic opportunities for the country.

"With the improved linkages of key areas and business districts in the metro as well as the availability of stalls in other stations and nearby markets, we can see more business opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors and additional economic activity," Marcos said during the groundbreaking ceremony.

Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista said it will be the "crown jewel" of the country’s mass transport system — Metro Manila has three rail lines and the Philippine National Railways service to Laguna. The subway will be connected to the country’s already existing and planned railway network.

The government said 19 other tunnel boring machines have already been set up and will be launched by the end of 2022.

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Government officials, together with representatives from the Japanese Embassy and Megawide Construction Corp., attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the planned Ortigas and Shaw Boulevard stations.

Construction for the P488.47-billion project is financed through a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. It is seen to be fully operational by 2028, accommodating up to 519,000 passengers daily.

Japanese Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa noted that the groundbreaking ceremony of the project is “a good indicator” that the two countries’ infrastructure cooperation is gaining momentum under the current leadership.

"The Metro Manila subway… is very much in line with Japan’s aim to support the Philippines’ upper middle-income goal and post-pandemic recovery," Koshikawa said.

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