By Elijah Felice Rosales | The Philippine Star
January 2, 2023
MANILA, Philippines — The government expects to award all contract packages (CP) for the Metro Manila Subway this year, as it sticks with its target of completing the railway by 2028 in spite of various challenges.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista told reporters the government plans to award all of the P488.48 billion CPs for the subway within 2023 to ensure that the project will be finished on time.
He said the Department of Transportation (DOTr) plans to operate its tunnel boring machines by Jan. 9 to start excavating the alignment for the rail line.
“We have already signed several contracts and we will sign other deals soon to ensure that our operations there are completed in time. We have two tunnel boring machines and our plan is to operate them by Jan. 9,” Bautista said.
“In 2023 we will release all of the contracts for the Metro Manila Subway. All in all, there should be about eight CPs making up the project,” he said.
Bautista said it would be challenging for the DOTr to deliver the Metro Manila Subway as scheduled on 2028 with the pile of issues that has to be addressed in the process.
Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez told The STAR it really is a difficult task to procure all of the right-of-way (ROW) for the subway, especially as portions of the alignment would pass through exclusive villages in Quezon City.
The DOTr has even sought the help of agencies, particularly the Office of the Solicitor General, National Housing Authority and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, for ROW acquisition of the rail line.
Chavez said the DOTr will receive P11.26 billion from the national budget this year to obtain the ROW for priority areas in CPs 101 to 104. CP 101, secured by a joint venture led by EEI Corp., comprises four stations – East Valenzuela, Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora and North Avenue – as well as the depot and the Philippine Railway Institute Building.
CP 102 bagged by D.M. Consunji Inc. involves the stations in Quezon Avenue and East Avenue. Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co. Ltd. won CP 103 – the Anonas to Camp Aguinaldo stretch – while Megawide Construction Corp. took CP 104 – the Ortigas to Shaw Boulevard segment.
Up for grabs are CP 105, the stations linking Kalayaan in Makati City to Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City; CP 108, the Lawton to Senate tranche; and CP 109, the spur line connecting to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The P488.48 billion Metro Manila Subway, funded by Japan, will extend for about 33 kilometers across seven cities, from Valenzuela City to Pasay City, and should reduce travel time between Quezon City and NAIA to just 35 minutes.