FORMER Metro Manila Development Authority and now Marikina City Rep. Bayani Fernando expressed optimism that the government will pursue the planned construction of a subway system to ease traffic in the metropolis.
“A subway is the most possible thing. All cities in the world ended up with subways. Here in the Phillippines we are only thinking about that now. We should done so long ago,” Fernando said, backing the proposals of the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Among the proposals contained in the JICA study are the construction of a mega-Manila Subway System and secondary mass transport lines as well as reforming the road-based public transport system.
“We need mass transit but not at 40 kilometers per hour. It should be underground with a speed of 80 kilometers per hour,” said Fernando.
The National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Transportation had earlier planned to construct the subway or the Mass Transit System Loop traversing the major business districts of Metro Manila.
The project forms part of the more than P2-trillion transportation plan presented to the Philippine government by JICA.
The government admitted that Metro Manila is still in need of an inter-city expressway of 426 kilometers until 2030 and urban and suburban railways of six main lines with 246 kilometers and five secondary lines with 72 kilometers to improve traffic.
The transport roadmap emphasizes the need to establish better north-south connectivity and appropriate hierarchy of different transportation modes such as roads, railways, and other mass transits.
“We need the mass transit system. Before we’re said [the Metro Railway Transit system] was not right, and now we are saying is it right to have MRT,” said Fernando.
Under the proposal, the subway project would link the Central Business District in Makati City, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, and the SM Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City.
It stated that one of the routes for the 20-kilometer train system is Market! Market!, St. Luke’s Medical Center, MRT Line 3’s Sen. Gil Puyat Station, Ayala/EDSA, Ayala Triangle, Makati Post Office, Philippine National Railways’ Sen. Gil Puyat station, Buendia/Taft Avenue, World Trade Center, Mall of Asia and EDSA/Taft Avenue.