P355-b subway approved

The Cabinet approved the first phase of the Metro Manila Subway Project that will cost at least P355 billion to build, the National Economic and Development Authority said Wednesday.

Neda said the Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee approved phase 1 of the subway project, along with the construction of the P15.35-billion Clark International Airport facility under the build-transfer scheme and the P3.5-billion Lower Agno River Irrigation System Improvement Project.

The subway project will run more than 30 kilometers from Mindanao Ave. in Quezon City and end at  Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque City.  Its initial investment requirement is estimated at P355.6 billion, funded by an official development assistance loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency.  The loan will have an interest of 0.10 percent per annum payable in 40 years with a grace period of 12 years.

The project also involves the construction of a 28-hectare training center and depot, as well as other related facilities. The implementation period is from 2018 to mid-2025.

Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia
Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the first phase of the subway project would not only ease traffic in Metro Manila but also improve the quality of life of Filipinos. 

“For one, carbon emissions will be reduced. And, with greater mobility, people can spend more time on things that matter to them,” Pernia said.

Travel time from Mindanao Ave. to FTI complex in Taguig City is expected to take only 31 minutes onboard the subway rail project.  It is expected to serve 365,000 passengers in the first year of operations.

Phase 1 of the project, or the subway central zone, will traverse six cities, including Valenzuela City (for the depot), Quezon City, Pasig City, Makati City, Taguig City and Parañaque City.  It will have underground stations at Mindanao Ave., Tandang Sora, North Ave., Quezon Ave., East Ave., Anonas, Katipunan, Ortigas North, Ortigas South, Kalayaan Ave., Fort Bonifacio, Cayetano Boulevard, FTI and Naia.

Phase 2 will extend the subway to Caloocan or Meycauayan, Bulacan in the north and to Dasmariñas, Cavite in the south.

First phase of the subway project was previously designed to end at FTI, but Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, along with other economic managers, pushed to have a spur line extending the subway to Naia to make it easier for airport passengers to get to their destination in Metro Manila.

“In most of our neighboring countries in Asia, you can reach the city without ever leaving the platform. So, economic managers thought we’re going to build a subway anyway. So why not push to extend it to Naia? It just makes perfect sense. The extension will mean greater connectivity and improved passenger comfort and convenience,” said Tugade.

Groundbreaking is currently scheduled in fourth quarter of 2018 while target completion is 2025. Tugade, however, asked Jica to expedite the project to allow the public to enjoy the benefits of a subway system earlier.

“We have consistently asked our Japanese partners to expedite the project. They are experts in tunneling technology, and I’m sure they can deliver ahead of schedule. But, of course, we can never compromise the quality and integrity of the project,” Tugade said.

The ICC-CC also approved the proposal of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority to adopt the build-transfer scheme under the Amended BOT Law, as mode of implementation for the construction of the Clark International Airport facility. 

The project involves the construction of an 82,600-square-meter terminal building, with a design capacity of 8 million passengers per annum.  As earlier approved by the ICC in May 2017, the Clark International Airport Expansion Project has an estimated total project cost of P15.35 billion, with P2.8 billion sourced from the DOTr budget for pre-construction activities, while the remaining investment requirement of P12.55 billion to be provided by BCDA.

The ICC-CC also approved the Lower Agno River Irrigation System Improvement Project with a total cost of P3.5 billion. The project will cover the development of new service area and rehabilitation of the Lower Agno River Irrigation System, with a combined total of 12,650 hectares service area.

At least 10,000 farmers will benefit from free irrigation which is expected to increase their income. The project is expected to begin in January 2018 and end by December 2021.

“We want to improve our farmers’ quality of life by providing them access to irrigation and financing. This will increase their productivity, output, and income,” Pernia said.

Topics: Metro Manila Subway Project , National Economic and Development Authority , Neda , Clark International Airport facility , Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia
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