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DoTr to award remaining subway contracts by Q3

A GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY for two subway stations of the Metro Manila Subway project was held at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Feb. 13. The subway project is supported by the government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency. — COURTESY OF JAPAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY

THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DoTr) is planning to award the remaining three contract packages of the Metro Manila Subway Project by the third quarter.

Transportation Undersecretary Cesar B. Chavez told reporters on Monday the contract packages 105, 108 and 109, with an estimated cost of about P20 billion each, would be awarded by the “second or third quarter” this year.

The construction of two underground stations near Anonas and Camp Aguinaldo, as well as tunnels under contract package 103 began on Monday with a groundbreaking ceremony at the military headquarters in Quezon City.

Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co. Ltd. is the contractor for this six-kilometer segment that connects Quezon City and Pasig City, with construction expected to take almost six years.

Pre-construction works for Camp Aguinaldo Station started in November 2021, and is targeted to be completed by the third quarter.

The DoTr said it would break the ground for the Quezon Avenue and East Avenue stations, which are under contract package 102, in March.

“We have talked with the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development and National Housing Authority… It’s just that the contract for (package) 103 was earlier but we will start with (contract package) 102 next month),” Mr. Chavez said in a mixed of English and Filipino.

The P357-billion, 33-kilometer subway will run from Valenzuela City to FTI-Bicutan in Parañaque City, with a spur line to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City. It will have 17 stations.

The government of Japan, through official development assistance, is providing the Philippine government with funds for the Metro Manila subway.

Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista said the project is still on track to meet its 2028 target completion date despite the challenge of obtaining right-of-way for certain portions of the subway.   

“There could be partial operations for the first stations, from Valenzuela up to Ortigas. But we will try to finish the project by 2028,” Mr. Bautista said in a mixed of English and Filipino. “Right-of-way still remains a challenge but we don’t see it delaying the project.

With partial operations, the subway is expected to serve about 370,000 passengers a day. At full operations, it can serve about 519,000 passengers daily.

Asked about plans to develop three to four more subway systems, Mr. Bautista said feasibility studies were being undertaken.

“The planning department is still studying the possible subways so we can’t say for now when it will be launched, but it is being planned,” he added.

The new subways are expected to be built within Metro Manila, specifically in Parañaque City. However, Mr. Bautista said there are proposals to build a subway outside Metro Manila, such as Cavite. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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