The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of National Defense (DND) signed Friday a right-of-way usage agreement for the first phase of the government’s Metro Manila subway project.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana led the virtual signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Agreement for one of the flagship infrastructure projects of the administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
“To make the Filipino life comfortable, convenient, and safe – iyan po ang hangarin ng (that is the intention of the) Metro Manila subway station,” Tugade said during his speech.
Under the agreement, five DND properties will be acquired for the development of designs for convenient access points to Metro Manila subway stations and terminal interchange plazas, as well as access to the different DND camps and bases.
These include the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) for the North Ave. station; V. Luna Hospital for the East Ave. station; Camp Aguinaldo for Camp Aguinaldo station; Philippine Army for interstation between Lawton and Senate-DepEd stations; and Villamor Airbase for interstation between Senate-DepEd and FTI/NAIA Terminal 3 stations.
According to the DOTr, three out of 17 subway stations will be located near or in these properties which will be built “in consideration of the future development plans of the DND for their camps and bases.”
Transportation Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said the agreement will allow DOTr to fasttrack its access to construction and work sites needed for the subway.
Apart from this, Batan said that the deal will also give DND and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) a “fair and recurring source of resources for the betterment and upliftment of our heroes in the armed forces.”
“In the short term, DOTr will replicate affected DND-AFP structures and facilities, including the construction of 192 units of Armed Forces housing in Camp Aguinaldo, and the replication and improvement of affected facilities of the Veterans Golf Course,” Batan bared.
“In the short to long term, DOTr will pay DND-AFP a recurring annual usufruct fee of 10 percent of latest zonal value and five percent of gross non-farebox revenues of the concerned subway stations to ensure that the subway is developed in a manner that maximizes connectivity to government properties,” he added.
The Metro Manila subway project is the first underground railway system in the country spanning 34 kilometers with 17 stations from Valenzuela City to Parañaque City and NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City.
Once completed, the subway aims to reduce the travel time from over one hour to just 35 minutes and is expected to carry up to 370,000 passengers per day in its first year of full operations, the DOTr said.