Here’s the status of the Metro Manila Subway according to DOTr

MANILA – The P488-billion Metro Manila Subway was the centerpiece of President Rodrigo Duterte’s ambitious infrastructure push, and it was supposed to be partially operating by end of his term. 

So what is the Subway’s status now?

The construction of the Subway will continue under the administration of President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos, but no target has been disclosed by the new administration as to when it is expected to be operational. 

Former Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in February last year that the country’s first subway could be partially operational by the end of 2021

“Partial operability [by December] this year. Worst case scenario [is by] January o February next year… Ma-e-enjoy at masasakyan ang ating subway hindi pa tayo nagbabayad ng loans,” Tugade said in February 2021.

However, the first tunnel boring machine was lowered into position only on June 12 this year, which signaled the start of the actual digging for the subway. 

Based on the latest report of the DOTr under the previous leadership, at least 25 machines will dig the tunnels for the subway. The target set by previous transport leaders was partial operability by 2025 and full operations by 2027. 

During the first post-State of the Nation Address (SONA) economic briefing, DOTr Undersecretary for Rails Cesar Chavez was asked about the progress of the P488 billion infrastructure project.

“What is the status of this project…I’d like to define it in at least 4 indicators…procurement, design, ROW (right of way), construction,” Chavez said.

“On the procurement of contractors, from project management to contractors, civil works, rolling stocks, electro mechanicals including the development of stations, we are about 60 percent,” he added.

Chavez gave no other update was given on the project.

The subway will have 17 stations that will connect Valenzuela City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Chavez said its daily ridership capacity is pegged between 400,000 to as high 800,000.

While originally estimated to cost around P350 billion, the project’s total cost was raised to P488.48 billion last year. 

Marcos meanwhile vowed to continue projects that have been started. He also renamed the BBB to BBM or “Build, Better, More.”

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