Plans are going smoothly and by the looks of it, we may have our very own Mega Manila Subway by 2024.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia announced today that Japan and the Philippines will be working together to start designing the country’s first subway system in November. The project will cost an estimated P230 billion.
According to a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), the project “will be up for President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval” in September, months ahead of his meeting with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in November. The two are set to meet then for the signing of the subway project’s loan agreement.
“The subway is going to be the project of the century for the Philippines,” said Pernia, adding that the feasibility study for the Mega Manila Subway was already completed.
Pernia, who heads the National Economic Development Authority (Neda), also said that they are aiming to get “below 1-percent interest for the loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), payable in 20 years with a 15-year grace period.”
According to the Jica website, “the objective of the Project is to accommodate increasing transportation demand of Mega Manila, as well as to alleviate serious traffic congestion in Metro Manila by constructing an urban railway line including a subway section.” The Mega Manila Subway was ultimately seen to cut through Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan and Cavite.
GMA News reported that the proposed subway “will be a 25-kilometer underground mass rail system connecting major business districts and government centers.” A previous report by PDI, on the other hand, listed Mega Manila Subway’s proposed stops: Mindanao Avenue, North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, East Avenue, Anonas, Katipunan, Ortigas North, Ortigas South, Kalayaan, Bonifacio Global City, Cayetano Boulevard, Food Terminal Inc. and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The project’s groundbreaking is seen to happen in December 2018. Once the first phase of construction is finished in 2024, Mega Manila Subway is expected to service 350,000 to 370,000 passengers a day.
This sounds like a major win for Filipino commuters, but is it too good to be true? I guess we’ll see in seven years.
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Writer: ALYOSHA J. ROBILLOS