An ambitious Metro Manila Subway project could be a long way to go but the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is optimistic that his agency could do it under the Duterte government.
Is a subway project the answer to the horrendous traffic in Metro Manila? It could be a possibility. At a recent steering committee meeting presided by Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, partners from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) presented updates on the feasibility study for the Metro Manila Subway project
Among the issues tackled were timelines, alignment and organizational arrangements. Sec. Tugade reiterated his directive that he wants the project to be operational before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term. “I want this project finished,” Tugade stressed.
Apart from fast-tracking the project, Secretary Tugade also proposed for the subway to extend all the way to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“I need to have that connectivity. I have a big problem with NAIA because of the projected increase in volume of passengers,” he said.
The subway alignment originally has 13 stations, starting from Mindanao Avenue and ending at FTI Taguig. This is seen to cut travel time from Quezon City to Taguig to just 31 minutes.
Sec. Tugade wants a training facility for railway operators to which JICA responded positively. JICA also presented possible organizational arrangements to ensure that the subway will be constructed, operated, and maintained by a competent and dedicated team of certified operators and experts.
Aside from a world-class design, the proposed subway system will have water-stop panels, doors, and high-level entrance for flood prevention, earthquake detection, and a train stop system just like the subways in Tokyo.
President Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are expected to sign a loan agreement for the Mega Manila Subway Project during the latter’s visit to the Philippines in November.