Tugade sees actual construction of subway before year-end though no contractor yet
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said on Wednesday the government is eyeing to start the actual construction of the Japanese-funded Metro Manila subway project by the end of this year.
This was despite the absence yet of the terms of reference for the possible contractor of the project.
"We are still on track, we are starting the ground break and the formal construction by the end of this year not later than December," Tugade said in a press briefing in Malacanang.
Tugade said the administration is targeting partial operation of the three stations - Mindanao Avenue, North Avenue and Tandang Sora, all in Quezon City - before President Rodrigo Duterte steps down from office by 2022.
Included in the project is the establishment of the Railway Institute and a depot in Valenzuela City.
Tugade admitted that there was no contractor as the terms of reference have to be finalized.
"We are still working on what is called as the terms of reference. There will be a bidding. Perhaps after the formal bidding, may be more or less before the end of this year until the first quarter," he said when asked when the contractor will be known.
In March, the Philippines and Japan signed the agreement for the 104.53 billion yen loan (approximately $934.75 million), representing the first tranche of the total loan financing requirement of 573.73 billion yen (approximately $5.31 billion or P259.6 billion) pledged by the Japan International Cooperation Agency for the 1st phase of the subway project, which is the biggest amount it has ever committed to any country.
The 25.3-kilometer Metro Manila Subway Project-Phase I will connect north and south of Manila - from Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City to Food Terminal, Inc. in Taguig City - and Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The subway project will be the Philippines’ first-ever mass underground transport system.
Comprised of 13 stations, including a station in NAIA, the subway system is expected to reduce travel time to 31 minutes from Quezon City to Taguig City.
The subway is expected to accommodate around 370,000 passengers in its first year of operations. Celerina Monte/DMS