The Metro Manila Subway Project, a 36-kilometer underground railway system dubbed as the “project of the century,” broke ground Wednesday.
“Today marks a historic day for the Philippines as our first-ever underground railway system, the Metro Manila Subway, broke ground in Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela City,” the Transportation Department said in a statement.
The subway’s depot will be located in Barangay Ugong and the project will have 15 stations from Quirino Highway in Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City and FTI complex in Taguig City.
It would transform the economic and social landscape of the National Capital Region, the Transportation Department said.
The department would bid out the operation and maintenance of the project by end of the year. “By end of this year will be published [bid documents] for the entire thing. We cannot have different operators. They will come in time for the partial operations,” Transportation Undersecretary for railways Timothy Batan said.
The government expects 370,000 passengers to benefit from the subway’s first year of full operations by 2025.
Real estate consultancy Colliers International said the ground-breaking for the subway’s first three stations would benefit Quezon City property over the near to medium term. “In our opinion, the subway should play an important role in dictating private developer strategies in Metro Manila,” Colliers said.
“The implementation of the P350 billion [$6.5 billion] subway should help provide access to properties that could be redeveloped into mixed commercial, residential, hotel, and institutional projects. Colliers sees the project raising the prices of land and properties within a kilometer from the subway’s stations,” Colliers said.
A flagship project under the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, MMSP would be built with a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Once completed, it will have 15 stations from Quirino Highway in Quezon City to Naia Terminal 3 in Pasay City and FTI in Taguig City, crossing seven local governments and passing through three Metro Manila’s business districts.
With a speed of up to 80 kilometers per hour, travel time from Quezon City to Naia Terminal 3 is seen to be reduced to 30 minutes, the Transportation Department said.
The department signed on Feb. 20 the main contract for the design and build of the subway’s depot and first three stations, or its partial operability section, along with the structures and facilities of the Philippine Railway Institute.
The first three stations consist of the Quirino Highway-Mindanao Ave. Station, Tandang Sora Station and North Ave. Station. Partial operation with the first three stations is targeted by 2022, while full operations of all 15 stations will be in 2025.
Under the design-build contract, the joint venture of Shimizu Corp., Fujita Corp, Takenaka Civil Engineering Co. Ltd. and EEI Corp. will design and build the first three stations, tunnel structures, the subway’s Valenzuela depot and the facilities of the Philippine Railway Institute.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade inspected the tunnel boring machines, subway flood control equipment, and other technological advancements and practices in railway operations during his recent visit to Japan.
The Philippine government signed a loan agreement with the Japanese government amounting to P51.3 billion in March 2018.