MANILA — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is targeting to bid out the construction of the five remaining segments of the Metro Manila Subway by the end of the year.
DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said the subway project, the country’s first underground railway system, has a total of six construction packages.
“There are six civil work contract packages. These are by segments. Everything else will be published at the same time by the end of the year, then we will award by middle of next year. The other five will all be published at the same time,” Batan said in an interview with reporters on the sidelines of the groundbreaking ceremony of the first segment of the Metro Manila Subway held in Valenzuela City Wednesday.
The construction packages will consist of two to three stations, he added.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the department targets to bid the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the entire Metro Manila Subway system also by end of 2019.
“We will likewise bid for the O&M. We want the O&M contractor in place while the construction is being finished. The plan is by end of the year at the earliest,” he said.
The 36-km. subway will have 15 stations from Quirino Highway in Quezon City to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City and FTI in Taguig City.
It will traverse seven localities and pass through three of Metro Manila’s business districts.
Travel time from Quezon City to NAIA Terminal 3 is estimated to be reduced to only 30 minutes with trains running at speeds of up to 80 km. per hour.
It is expected to have partial operations in 2022 with its first three stations: Quirino Highway-Mindanao Ave., Tandang Sora, and North Ave.
The subway is seen to serve up to 370,000 passengers daily during its first year of full operations in 2025 with a design capacity of accommodating up to 1.5 million passengers per day.
The joint venture of Shimizu Corp., Fujita Corp., Takenaka Civil Engineering Co. Ltd., and EEI Corp. will be in charge of designing and building the first three stations of the subway, tunnel structures, its Valenzuela Depot and the facilities of the planned Philippine Railway Institute.
The DOTr plans to initially procure 19 train sets consisting of eight cars with the option to increase up to ten cars in each sets.
“The system is designed for 10 cars, meaning all of the stations can accommodate 10-car trains in the future,” Batan said.
The Metro Manila Subway will connect with other major rail lines, such as the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark, PNR Calamba, and the Common Station to ensure interconnectivity, intermodality, and interoperability. It will also feature technological advancements and disaster-resilient strategies to strengthen its structural integrity amid regular occurrence of typhoons and earthquakes.
In the same event, the DOTr awarded certificates of entitlement to 20 out of 183 beneficiary families residing along the right of way of the proposed subway system, with the remaining undergoing pre-qualification process.
The Metro Manila Subway project is under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program. It will be built with the support of the government of Japan through Official Development Assistance loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. (PNA)