The Department of Transportation said it expects the delivery of six tunnel boring machines from Japan in the first quarter of 2021 that will start the construction of the Metro Manila Subway Project.
It said the six TBMs manufactured by JIM Technology Corp. in its factory in Tsurumi Prefecture would be used to build the country’s first underground mass transport system.
These will be delivered to the Philippines beginning January next year to start the construction of the partial operability section from Valenzuela City to North Ave. in Quezon City.
The department said the TBMs would be used to dig underground and lay the tunnels. They can excavate through a variety of ground conditions, from hard rock to sand. The government will need 25 TBMs for the entire section of the project.
Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a virtual briefing that the project would generate 9,000 direct employment and 40,000 to 50,000 indirect jobs.
“The partial operability from Valenzuela to North Ave. in Quezon City will be December 2021, earlier than the target of February 2022,” he said.
Tugade said the entire line of the Metro Manila Subway would be completed by 2024 or 2025.
The DOTr began in December last year the clearing works and fencing activities in parts of Valenzuela City and Quezon City representing the partial operability section of the P355-billion project.
The section of the subway includes the first stations in Valenzuela City and Quezon City, the line’s depot in Valenzuela City and buildings for the Philippine Railway Institute, the country’s first railway training center.
Dubbed as the “Project of the Century,” the underground rail line is expected to serve 370,000 passengers daily in its first year of full operations.
Once completed and fully operational, the Metro Manila Subway Project will have 15 stations, including a terminal station at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
The subway system will be financed via official development assistance from Japan, with an interest of 0.10 percent per annum, payable in 40 years, inclusive of a grace period of 12 years.
Japan International Cooperation Agency already signed a loan agreement with the Philippine government to provide a loan of up to 104.53 billion yen for the first phase of the project.