Duterte, Abe to sign deal paving for Mega Manila subway
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said on Tuesday that President Rodrigo Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are set to sign in November this year an agreement that would jump-start the construction of the country’s first subway system.
During the “Dutertenomics” forum at Conrad Hotel in Manila which showcased the priority projects of the Duterte administration to usher in what it called the country’s “golden age of infrastructure,” Tugade said that the Mega Manila Subway system is being eyed to be constructed by the fourth quarter of 2020, but may be initiated as early as 2019.
Tugade said that the P227-billion project, which is “one of the very ambitious projects of the Duterte administration,” would be funded by the government and through an official development assistance. He added that it promises to bring commuters from Quezon City to Taguig City in just 31 minutes.
In his visit to the country in January, Abe pledged 1 trillion yen or P424 billion in investment and development assistance aid to the country over the next five years.
Tugade said that Mr. Duterte and Abe are targeted to sign in November an agreement for the subway system’s construction, which would use Japan’s tunneling expertise. He, however, did not elaborate whether the President would fly to Tokyo for the signing of the agreement or if the Japanese premier would return to Manila.
Once completed by the second quarter of 2024, the first phase of subway system which will have 13 stops is expected to cater to 350,000 passengers daily.
The subway’s proposed stops are: 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.
Also in the pipeline for the development of the country’s rail systems is the construction of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) North Rail that would connect Tutuban in Manila with Clark in Pampanga.
Tugade said that the construction of the P225-billion rail is estimated to be started by the second quarter of 2018. Once completed in 2021, the 100-kilometer PNR North Rail is seen to cater to around 350,000 passengers daily, who can reach Clark from Tutuban in 55 minutes.
Along with the PNR North Rail, Tugade said that they would also start by the third quarter of 2018 the construction of the PNR South Rail that would connect Manila with Calamba and Los Baños in Laguna, and the Bicol region. The Laguna line, expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2021, can accommodate up to 330,000 passengers, while the Bicol line, expected to be finished by 2022, can take in 400,000 passengers.
Meanwhile, Tugade said that the first phase of the 2,000-km Mindanao Rail is expected to be completed by 2021. The P32-billion line would connect Tagum with Davao and Digos cities, which has a distance of 104 kms. This rail system can ferry 117,000 passengers daily and cuts travel time from Tagum to Digos in just an hour. IDL/rga
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