Metro Manila —The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board approved yesterday, 12 September, the PHP 355.6 billion Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP), one of the big ticket infrastructure projects of the Duterte Administration, through the Department of Transportation (DOTr) headed by Secretary Arthur Tugade.
After the presentation of the MMSP, the NEDA Board gave its nod to Secretary Tugade who has been pushing for the early completion of the subway project, which will run from Quirino Highway in Quezon City to the NAIA complex in Parañaque City.
The extension to the NAIA complex followed the endorsement of the project by the NEDA Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) earlier this month.
“The extension will mean greater connectivity and improved passenger comfort and convenience,” Secretary Tugade said. “In other countries, you can reach other cities without ever leaving the platform. So we [economic managers] thought, since we’re going to build a subway anyway, why not push to extend it to NAIA? It just makes perfect sense,” he added.
According to DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Cesar Chavez, the DOTr, through the leadership of Secretary Tugade, together with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), scheduled the groundbreaking for MMSP in the fourth quarter of 2018, and is pushing for partial operations in 2022, and full operations by 2025.
“Secretary Tugade has been working closely with JICA in order to expedite the completion of the project and allow the public to enjoy the benefits of a subway system earlier,” Usec. Chavez said.
Apart from a world-class design, the subway system will have water-stop panels, doors, and high-level entrance for flood prevention, earthquake detection, and a train stop system, just like the subways in Tokyo.
The country’s first subway system will be financed via Official Development Assistance (ODA), with an interest of 0.10% per annum, payable in 40 years, inclusive of a grace period of 12 years.
The signing of the loan commitment by Japan is scheduled in November when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with President Rodrigo Duterte during the ASEAN Summit.
The NEDA Board likewise approved other big ticket infrastructure projects of the DOTr such as the Philippine National Railway’s South Commuter (Manila-Los Baños) and South Long Haul (Manila-Bicol/Sorsogon/Batangas) Projects, which have a total project cost of PHP 299.4 billion. | DOTr-PR