Construction for the country’s first underground railway system is underway. Dubbed the ‘Project of the Century,’ the Metro Manila Subway Project is finally pushing through after nearly 50 years since it was conceptualized in the 1973 Urban Transport Study. It is expected to benefit around half a million passengers come 2028. Here’s what you need to know.
President Marcos Jr. leads the groundbreaking ceremony
Last October 3, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. led the groundbreaking ceremony for the subway’s two stations in Shaw Boulevard and Ortigas. Fresh off his Singapore trip, Marcos Jr. said that Phase 1 of the project is expected to save almost an hour of travel time from Quezon City to Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“With accessible designated stations that can cater to a massive volume of passengers, we anticipate helping our people skip the long lines of traffic and even spare themselves from the perils of commuting,” said Marcos Jr. in his speech.
He also added that once completed, the subway project could drive up business opportunities.
Grander dreams: Connecting Valenzuela to Pasay
The Metro Manila Subway Project is a 17-station 33-kilometer project set to benefit half a million Filipino passengers come 2028. The number of stations has changed over the past few years but as of October 2022, here are the 17 stations:
- East Valenzuela Station
- Quirino Highway Station
- Tending Sora Station
- North Avenue (Grand Common Station)
- Quezon Avenue Station
- East Avenue Station
- Anonas Station
- Camp Aguinaldo Station
- Ortigas Station
- Shaw Station
- Kalayaan Avenue Station
- Bonifacio Global City Station
- Lawton Station
- Senate-Dep Ed. Station
- NAIA Terminal 3 Station
- Food Terminal Incorporated (FTI) Station
- Bicutan Station
According to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary Cesar Chavez, construction already started for the East Valenzuela and North Avenue stations. They are also expecting the railway system to be substantially operational from East Valenzuela to Shaw Boulevard starting in 2028.
The DOTr assured the public that these infrastructures will be resilient against floods and earthquakes since they will have the same technology as Japan.
“Alam niyo naman ang sitwasyon, maya’t maya lumilindol sa Japan. Wala tayong problema doon. The same technology, system, and procedure ang gagamitin dito sa pagbubuo ng Metro Manila Subway project,” said Chavez.
How many trains will the Metro Manila Subway have?
FIRST SUBWAY IN THE PHILIPPINES 🚇
LOOK: After more than 40 years, the Metro Manila’s subway project is now being constructed. Once operational, it will reduce the travel time between Quezon City and NAIA. | 📷: Art Tugade/Facebook pic.twitter.com/AEeTbl2KRR
— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) January 8, 2022
According to the DOTr, the subway will have 80 eight-car train sets that can carry as many as 2,242 passengers. These train sets are sourced from Japan and run at an operational speed of 80km/h with a maximum speed of 120km/h.
Who is funding it?
Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko attended the signing of the 253.307 billion yen ODA loan agreement for the Metro Manila Subway Project 2nd tranche between the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Department of Finance. pic.twitter.com/2SdUrFyX97
— The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) February 12, 2022
The Japanese government has agreed to provide funding for the Metro Manila Subway Project through the Official Development Assistance program of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Under the contract signed last March 2018, JICA will be giving the Philippines yearly loans financing up to 76% of the project or P370.8 billion. The Philippine government will pay for the remaining 24% or P117.7 billion.
DOTr awarded the construction packages to different contractors. For the Ortigas and Shaw Boulevard stations, Megawide Construction Corp., Japan-based Tokyu Construction Co. Ltd., and Tobishima Corp won the contract for the P17.7-billion Construction Package 104.
Chavez said that contract signing for two more construction packages — Construction Packages 102 and 103 — will be held next month.
Nishimatsu Construction Co. Ltd. (NCC) of Japan and engineering conglomerate D.M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI) won Contract Package 102 which includes the construction of the Quezon Avenue and East Avenue Stations. Meanwhile, Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Corp won Contract Package 103 which includes the Anonas and Katipunan stations.
Phase 1 road closure and rerouting
Pinaghandaan natin ang closure ng MeralcoAve mula Estancia hanggang Shaw (see rerouting plan), pero di maiiwasan na bibigat ng konti ang traffic. Magkaka-chain reaction hanggang C5, Ortigas Ext.
— Vico Sotto (@VicoSotto) October 3, 2022
As the Metro Manila Subway Project’s Phase 1 begins, the Department of Transportation said earlier that a portion of Meralco Avenue in Pasig City will be closed for six years. Motorists passing through Estancia to Shaw Boulevard have been rerouted starting last Monday, October 3. The road will be accessible in 2028 once the construction is finished.
For PUJ and private vehicles rerouting, Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto posted traffic guidelines on social media:
- PUJ routes are diverted to Capt. Henry Javier and D. Floro streets and vice versa
- UV Express and Modern Jeepneys are diverted to D. Julia Vargas St. and San Miguel Ave. and vice versa
- All alternative routes are applicable to private vehicles
Talking about the inconveniences these road closures will give people, Marcos Jr. encouraged Filipinos: “Although it is a given that the construction of these structures will take time and cause disruption, let us be optimistic and just count these small inconveniences as a small price to pay for the fruitful results that this program, this project will yield.”