By Hannah Torregoza
Reelectionist Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said the recent groundbreaking of the Metro Manila Subway, held last Wednesday in Valenzuela City is proof the Duterte administration is all about “real action, not words.”
“Totoong proyekto, hindi puro plano (real projects, not just plans),” Pimentel said adding that such infrastructure project, is one of the hallmarks of the “Duterte brand of governance.”
“For years there has been talk about building more train systems in Metro Manila to provide its residents with a fast and efficient way to get around the metropolis, as we know that many NCR (National Capital Region) residents spend two, sometimes three hours in traffic just to get to work. Pero walang nangyayari, (but nothing has been done),” Pimentel pointed out.
But now, Pimentel said a faster and efficient transportation system would soon be a reality with the start of the construction of the Metro Manila Subway.
“It’s because of problems like these that the Administration is fully committed to its Build, Build, Build program and is intent on getting these projects off the ground and completed at the soonest possible time,” the senator said.
He said the administration’s philosophy is simple: “gawa, hindi lang ngawa; trabaho, hindi puro plano. (Actions, not just words; work, not just plans.)”
The country’s first-ever subway system will be 36 kilometers long and will have 15 stations from Quirino Highway in Quezon City to NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay and FTI in Taguig.
It is set to run at 80 kilometers per hour and the new subway will cross seven Metro Manila local government units (LGUs) and pass through three of Metro Manila’s business districts in just 30 minutes.
The Metro Manila Subway is set to commence partial operations by 2022 for its first three stations: the Quirino Highway – Mindanao Avenue Station, Tandang Sora Station, and North Avenue Station). The entire rail line will be fully operational by 2025.
Once completed, the subway will service 370,000 passengers daily in its first year of full operations, with a design capacity that can accommodate up to 1.5 million passengers per day.
Pimentel said those from Metro Manila, especially those from Quezon City who work in the Makati Central Business District or Bonifacio Global City, will greatly benefit from the subway project.
“If our people spend less time on the road, they will have more time for their families,” the lawmaker stressed.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea led the groundbreaking ceremony last Wednesday together with Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda and Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, Medialdea said the Duterte Administration believes “in a fast and sure approach and the efficient delivery of public service.”
“Matagal nang deprived ang mga Pilipino sa ganitong mass transport system. We will deliver this to the Filipino people as fast as we can, as well as we can, and without any whiff of corruption,” Medialdea was quoted saying during the event.
The Metro Manila Subway will use Japanese technology and feature technological advancements and disaster-resilient strategies aimed to ensure the line’s structural integrity amid regular occurrence of typhoons and earthquakes.