DOTr reports Metro Manila Subway project is now ‘40% complete’

The Philippines is making significant progress on its first-ever underground mass transport system, with the project now 40% complete as of January 2024. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) provided this update during a site inspection of the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP), attended by Finance Secretary Ralph Recto and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative to the Philippines Takema Sakamoto.

According to the DOTr, the MMSP is currently being funded by two active loan agreements, with plans for a third tranche of a loan worth ¥150 billion by March 2024. The project involves the construction of a depot and a 33-kilometer railway line with 17 stations connecting Valenzuela City to Pasay City, including a spur line to Terminal 3 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque City.

Officials hope that once completed in 2029, the project will reduce travel time from Valenzuela to NAIA from 1 hour and 30 minutes to just 35 minutes, serving an estimated 519,000 passengers daily. Discussions are ongoing with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Finance (DOF) for the review of draft documents related to the loan deal with JICA and the government of Japan.

Despite delays caused by right-of-way issues, construction on the MMSP resumed in January 2023, with commitments from the DOTr and the government to ensure timely completion. Transportation Secretary Bautista expressed gratitude for the support from JICA and emphasized the dedication to finishing the project as scheduled. Finance Secretary Recto echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of securing funding for this essential infrastructure development.

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