PPRD, Japan PM Abe to seal Mega Manila Subway Project deal in Nov.

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are set to sign in November an agreement that will pave the way for the construction of the Mega Manila Subway Project , Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said Tuesday at the “Dutertenomics” forum held at the Conrad Manila in Pasay City.

Tugade said the railway project would help decongest traffic in Metro Manila and promote ease of mobility as it would connect the metropolis to neighboring provinces.

The transportation secretary also said the construction of the Mega Manila Subway Project is set to start by the fourth quarter of 2019, and expected to be completed by 2024.

The PHP 227- million subway project is envisioned to become a 25 kilometer underground mass transport system linking major business districts and government centers. It is expected to serve more than 300,000 passengers daily.

According to Tugade, the project will be funded through official development assistance (ODA) and the government will be utilizing Japanese expertise on underground railway system.

The first phase of the subway system will traverse Quezon City to Taguig City with 13 stations. The subway’s proposed stops are: Mindanao Avenue, North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, East Avenue, Anonas, Katipunan, Ortigas North, Ortigas South, Kalayaan, Bonifacio Global City, Cayetano Boulevard, Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Its feasibility study which is being conducted with the help of a grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is expected to be completed by July and will be presented to the government.

Under the proposal, the subway would start from San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, to Dasmariñas City, Cavite. The study focuses on the central zone of the subway starting from Quezon City to FTI.

Tugade also presented other railway projects being pursued by the DOTr in fulfillment of the Duterte administration’s vision for a “Golden Age of Infrastructure” to boost the economic development in the country.

The first phase of the 2,000 kilometer Mindanao Railway connecting Tagum, Davao Del Norte to Davao City and Digos, Davao Del Sur is expected to be completed by 2022 and slated to begin its construction by fourth quarter of 2018.

The PHP 32- billion railway system is expected to reduce travel time from Tagum to Digos by one hour.

The Philippine National Railway (PNR) North Railway connecting Metro Manila to Clark is expected to be completed by 2021.

The 100- kilometer railway will cater to around 350,000 passengers daily and would take 55 minutes to reach Tutuban from Clark. It would also support the development of the Clark International Airport as an alternative to the NAIA.

The PNR South Rail connecting Manila to Los Banos and the Bicol region is expected to start by the third quarter of 2018.

The Manila-Laguna line is expected to be completed by 2021, with a projected daily ridership of 330,000 while the Manila-Bicol line is expected to be completed by 2022 and will serve 400,000 commuters daily.

Tugade appealed to the public for trust and support to the Duterte administration as it pursues these key transportation projects.

“We are appealing for your trust and prayers as we pursue our battlecry of “Build, Build,Build” in the country,” Tugade said.

The DOTr is part of an inter-agency initiative called “Build, Build, Build” (BBB), which seeks to deliver big-ticket and high-impact infrastructure projects.

The government will allocate PHP 8 trillion to increase infrastructure spending to 7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) from the current 5 percent within the term of President Duterte. Aerol Patena/PNA-northboundasia.com