Metro Manila to kick off new $6.6b subway next month
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Metro Manila to kick off new $6.6b subway next month

THE PHILIPPINES capital is looking to build a more efficient public transportation system with new PHP350 billion (US$6.6 billion) city railway project that will kick off next month.

Known as the Mega Manila subway, the project will span at least 25 kilometers, linking Quezon City in the north to Taguig City in the south.

According to the Inquirer, the system will also have an added connection to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

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Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade was quoted as saying Japan was funding the project through an overseas development assistance loan.

The groundbreaking event is expected to be held by the middle of January 2019, he said.

While the project is expected to be finished by 2025, the department is hoping to open the first three stations by 2022, the same year President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to step down from office.

The project has earmarked Mindanao Avenue, Tandang Sora, North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, East Avenue, Anonas, Katipunan, Ortigas North, Ortigas South, Kalayaan Avenue, Bonifacio Globe City, Cayetano Boulevard and the Food Terminal Inc. complex for the locations of the subway stations.

Aimed at addressing Metro Manila’s worsening road congestion as the Japan International Cooperation Agency earlier pointed out that the city faced PHP3.5 billion (US$6.6 million) in economic daily losses as of 2017.

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Heavy traffic in Manila, Philippines. Source: Shutterstock

The Mega Manila project was tipped to be the first and only underground train system in the works, but a second prviately-backed subway project in Makati City is also being developed.

In October, the Makati City local government had awarded Philippine Infradev Holdings Inc. (IRC) to build and operate the underground train system with Private Partnership Selection Committee of Makati City.

The privatised railway will involve Chinese partners who are investing some PHP196 billion (US$3.7 billion) in the project.

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The consortium included Greenland Holdings, Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group, Kwan On Holdings and MingTu Investment Holdings.

The IRC had earlier this month held a soil-testing event ahead of the groundbreaking ceremony of the subway, which will service key areas in Makati.

According to the Inquirer, the proposed stations will be in Edsa-Ayala Avenue, Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati Central Park, Makati City Hall, Rockwell Center, EDSA-Guadalupe and Ospital ng Makati.