The government this week finally broke ground on the P350-billion, 36-kilometer Metro Manila Subway Project, the first-ever underground railway system in the Philippines.
Nobody will contest the claim of the Department of Transportation that the proposed subway is the project of the century in the Philippines. Its total cost is unparalleled for a single infrastructure project so far. The technology to be used for the project is also unprecedented—tunnel boring machines are being tapped to excavate tunnels using a circular cross-section mechanism.
The subway project is one of the railways being put up in Metro Manila to decongest traffic in the national capital region. The DOTr says it will transform the economic and social landscape of Metro Manila. For one, about 370,000 passengers will benefit from the subway’s first year of full operations by 2025.
Real estate consultancy Colliers International, meanwhile, said the ground-breaking for the subway’s first three stations would benefit the Quezon City property sector 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.
A flagship project under the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, the subway rail is being constructed 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 expected to be reduced to 30 minutes, the Transportation department said.
The Duterte administration deserves the credit for pushing this type of project as one way of solving the gridlock in Metro Manila. The subway project is a step closer to modernizing the transportation system in Metro Manila and in making the capital region at par with other modern cities in Asia.