The Department of Transportation said Friday it received the 74-ton cutter head of the first of the six tunnel boring machines from Japan that will be used for the construction of the Metro Manila Subway Project.
Funded by the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Metro Manila Subway Project will harness the power of 700-ton TBMs, measuring seven meters in diameter and 95 meters in length, to dig underground and lay tunnels for the 27-kilometer project.
The cutter head is the largest and heaviest part of the TBM, weighing 74 tons. Its main purpose is to break, cut, and grind rocks and soil by rotating its 36-piece disc cutter, composed of 15 pieces of single and 21 pieces of twin roller cutter. The first TBM will be named “Kaunlaran.”
“This tunnel boring machine symbolizes its name ‘Kaunlaran ‘. Today, as we applaud the coming of Kaunlaran, I ask you, join us in riding the TBM, and in riding the first Metro Subway because this is a journey towards progress” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
“The Metro Manila Subway is one of the answers of DOTR in answering your clarion call of making the Filipino life comfortable. This TBM, and the five more that are coming, so that we achieve partial operability by December of this year, is our way of saying this morning,” he said.
DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said that to fast-track the roll out of the MMSP, a fleet of 25 Japan-made TBMs would be utilized.
“To accelerate the construction of the Metro Manila Subway Project and to minimize road interference during construction, we will be using not just 1 but a fleet of 25 Japanese-made TBMs,” Batan said.
Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa commended the DOTr for its efficient approach in realizing the project, and expressed Japan’s full commitment to support the Philippine government in realizing the much-needed transport infrastructure projects of the country.
“We will continue to support the Philippine government, by utilizing our state-of-the-art technologies, and ensuring a fast and sure approach,” Koshikawa said.
JICA Chief Representative Eigo Azukizawa assured the Philippine government that the agency would continue to do all the best it can for the projects under the Duterte Administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
“We assure you that JICA will do everything it can, not only for this project but also for other BBB projects,” Azukizawa said.
The MMSP is the first underground railway system in the country that will provide the most modern mass transportation in the National Capital Region from Valenzuela City to Bicutan, Parañaque, and NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay and will further stretch across North and South zones of the Greater Metro Manila.