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In preparation for the construction of the much-awaited Metro Manila Subway which will break ground on 27 February 2019, officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) led by Secretary Arthur Tugade inspected Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) in Japan.

Straight from the airport, Secretary Tugade immediately proceeded to the JIMT Tsurumi Factory in the city of Yokohama, south of Tokyo, yesterday, 19 February 2019.

JIM Technology Corporation is considered as Japan's foremost manufacturer of tunnel boring machines.

Secretary Tugade was joined by Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan, Philippine National Railways (PNR) General Manager Junn Magno, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda, and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Philippines Chief Representative Yoshio Wada.

“The Metro Manila Subway is the Philippines’ first-ever underground railway system. Before, people cast doubts and said it is all but a dream. But, on February 27, we will show them that this is real,” DOTr Secretary Tugade said.

Tunnel Boring Machine manufacturer in Osaka

Today, Secretary Tugade and other key DOTr, Japan Embassy, and JICA officials traveled to Osaka via Shinkansen, and inspected the tunnel boring machines manufactured by Hitachi Zosen in Sakai City.

Hitachi Zosen’s Sakai Works (HZSW) factory has already manufactured 1,300 tunneling machines, and has a track record of 130 tunnels overseas.

During the inspection, HZSW also showed their Neo RISE technology — a no engine power and no human operation rising sea wall that automatically rises to protect any structure from incoming floodwater, which is being considered for installation at the entrances of the Metro Manila Subway stations.

Tunnel Boring Machines — critical equipment for the Subway

A tunnel boring machine is used to excavate tunnels using a circular cross-section mechanism. It utilizes sophisticated technology that minimizes the vibration above ground, as well as ground subsidence or surface sinking. It is a requisite in building subway systems, among others.

The 6.9-meter diameter tunnel boring machine being considered for the Metro Manila Subway weights over 600 tons. In the process of procurement, the machine has to be assembled in Japan for a test run. Upon passing the tests, the machine has to be disassembled, shipped to the Philippines in parts, where it will be assembled again for construction use.

Transportation officials are in Japan to attend a high-level bilateral meeting between Philippine infrastructure and economic teams and the Japanese government to discuss status and updates on PHL-JPN projects in the Philippines.

The Filipino delegation will likewise attend the Philippine Economic Briefing on Friday to brief Japanese businessmen on investment opportunities in the Philippines, including the progress of the Build Build Build Program.


Press Release

20 February 2019