The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Tuesday, September 12, has approved the implementation of Mega Manila Subway Project (MMSP) — the Philippines’ first subway and the soon-to-be longest mass railway transit.
The estimated $7-billion (P358.25-billion) subway will run from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to FTI complex in Taguig City. With the new transportation, the trip from Quezon City to Taguig can be reduced to half an hour from two hours.
It will also have an additional line extending towards the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals in Pasay City, as NEDA approved the recommendation of the Investment Coordination Cabinet Committee (ICC-Cabcom).
The project will be funded by an official development assistance (loan) the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The loan will have an interest of 0.10% per annum payable in 40 years, with a grace period of 12 years.
Its construction is scheduled to begin next year, with partial operations slated in 2022 and and full operations by 2025. It is expected to accommodate a daily 350,000 passengers, according to the government.
“The approval and eventual completion of these projects will pave the way for us to achieve our mid-term and long-term goals as a country and a nation,”
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said that the project will boost mass transport and ease the heavy traffic in Metro Manila.
“The MMSP’s first phase will significantly improve Metro Manila’s transportation system, air quality, and productivity, thereby reducing the 2.4 billion economic loss the country incurs daily due to heavy traffic,” he added.
The Mega Manila Subway is part of the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte administration’s 8.2 trillion “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.
Apart from the MMPS, NEDA also approved this week four new “flagship” projects.
These include the Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project; Binondo-Intramuros and Estrella-Pantaleon Bridges Construction Project; Lower Agno River Irrigation System Improvement Project; and Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility of the Department of Finance (DOF).
“The approval and eventual completion of these projects will pave the way for us to achieve our mid-term and long-term goals as a country and a nation,” Pernia added.
The Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) involves the upgrading of seven roads and the widening of a 40-km road segment with slope protection.
The P21.19 billion project will be funded through a load from Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB), with construction slated to begin late this year and end by 2020.
Also a DPWH project, the Binondo-Intramuros and Estrella-Pantaleon Bridges Construction is set to begin fourth quarter this year and end in the fourth quarter of 2020. Its total cost of P5.97 billion will be financed by grants from the Government of China.
The Binondo-Intramuros Bridge involves the construction of a new 4-lane bridge and viaduct, while the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge involves the replacement of the existing 2-lane bridge with a 4-lane bridge and widening of the approach roads.
The National Irrigation Administration (NIA)’s Lower Agno River Irrigation System Improvement Project involves the development of a 12,650 ha service area that will benefit 10,372 farmers in 7 municipalities in Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, and Tarlac.
The project, worth P3.5 billion, will be financed by the national government and will be implemented from January 2018 to December 2021.
The P7.91 billion Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility will also be funded through a loan from ADB.
It will directly support the DPWH and Department of Transportation (DOTr) in delivering more effective and innovative infrastructure projects by accelerating the approval process and ensuring the timely, high-quality procurement and implementation of projects.