By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The Duterte government is shelling out an initial P1.5 billion for the implementation of the Phase 1 of the 36-kilometer Metro Manila Subway Project, Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. disclosed on Sunday.
He said the amount is already with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), and will serve as the government’s “counterpart funding” for the subway project, noting that the Phase 1 of the project will be bankrolled by a P51.3-billion official development assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
“Metro Manila could use two or three more subways over the 10 to 20 years to efficiently convey large numbers of commuters,” Campos, a deputy minority leader and ex-officio member of the House Committee on Appropriations, said in a statement.
Campos noted that the daytime population of the National Capital Region (NCR), now pegged at 15 million, could balloon to 20 million in the years ahead.
“Electric trains below ground offer the fastest way for us to move tens of thousands of people – whether over long or short distances – without adding to road congestion above ground,” Campos said.
“There’s really no other option, except to build our future passenger trains in tunnels, considering that we can no longer widen our roads,” Campos added.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Metro Manila Subway’s train depot in Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela City was recently held.
Once completed, subway trains are projected to run at 35 to 48 kilometers per hour and traverse 15 underground stations from Mindanao Avenue-Quirino Highway in Quezon City all the way to the Food Terminal Inc. Complex in Taguig City in just 31 to 42 minutes.
It is expected that the runway would enable passengers from Quezon City to reach the NAIA Terminal 3 in under 30 minutes.
Campos noted that some 365,000 passengers are expected to take the subway every day on its first year of full operations in 2025. The number is anticipated to surge to 973,000 by 2035.
The subway’s first three stations in Quezon City are expected to be completed before President Duterte’s term ends in 2022.