The country’s first underground railway system is no longer a pipe dream, following the Department of Transportation's (DOTr) signing of the main contract or the first part of the design and build contract for the Metro Manila Subway's first three stations, or its partial operability section, last February 20, Wednesday.
Set to break ground on February 27, Wednesday, the Metro Manila Subway will not only be the Philippines' first underground railway, it will also be one of its most expansive, spanning 36 kilometers, with 15 stations, crossing 7 local governments, passing 3 of Metro Manila's business districts, and connecting all these to NAIA Terminal 3 in almost 30 minutes or less.
Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Atty. Reinier Paul R. Yebra signed the contract on behalf of DOTr, 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.
The Shimizu Joint Venture will be pursuing the design and build of the Subway's partial operability section, which consists of its first three underground stations (Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora, and North Avenue), tunnel structures, the Valenzuela Depot, and the building and facilities for the Philippine Railway Institute.
Hailed as the “project of the century,” the Metro Manila Subway is among the flagship projects under the Duterte Administration’s Build Build Build program.
Partial operability of the Subway with its first three stations is targeted for 2022, while full operations will be in 2025. In its first year of full operations alone, the seminal underground rail system is expected to serve up to 370,000 passengers per day, with a capacity of serving up to 1.5 million passengers per day.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, who has just attended the 7th High Level Joint Committee Meeting between the governments of the Philippines and Japan along with other Philippine officials in Osaka, Japan, assured there’s no stopping the construction of the Metro Manila Subway.
“Next week, our countrymen will finally see that the dream of a railway system running underground in this country is soon becoming a reality. Of course there will be some inconvenience along the way, but that is nothing compared to the long-lasting comfort this project will bring to the Filipino people,” Secretary Tugade said.
Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda, who also attended the High Level Meeting in Osaka, said that the signing of the contract for the subway's partial operability section further exhibits the strong cooperation between Japan and the Philippines.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Philippines Chief Representative Yoshio Wada, who was also in Osaka, expressed JICA’s commitment to fully support the Philippine Government towards the fast and sure realization of the Metro Manila Subway Project.
"It is our honor to assist the Government of the Philippines to implement this historical flagship project in Metro Manila. We appreciate the fact that our Japanese technology will be utilized for this project and make Filipino people's life better by mitigating congestion in the city with safe and punctual Japanese railway culture," Chief Representative Wada said.
In line with the upcoming construction of the Metro Manila Subway, Secretary Tugade inspected Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM), subway flood control equipment, and other technological advancements and practices in railways during his visit in Japan.
“Ngayong nakita ko ang kagandahan ng operasyon at sistema sa railways ng mga kaibigan natin sa Japan, ako ay natutuwa dahil ang pangarap noon ng mga Pilipino ay magkakatotoo na. Sa ating mga kababayan, magkakaroon na rin ang Pilipinas ng kauna-unahang subway. Mag-uumpisa na po kami,” Secretary Tugade announced.
25 February 2019