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Japan to lend $4B for MM Subway project

Japan has committed to provide USD 4 billion for the construction of the Mega Manila Subway System, which is seen to further ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila and provide an alternative mode of transportation to commuters.

Bases Conversion and Development Authority President and CEO Vince Dizon said that President Rodrigo Duterte and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would a loan agreement in time for the ASEAN and East Asia Summit in November.

“This commitment was made possible because of the goodwill that the President has generated as well as the strong relationship with the Japanese government and its people,” Dizon said in his address during the 2017 Infrastructure Congress and Expo Philippines held Wednesday at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

The first phase of the subway project, which will traverse from Quezon City to Taguig, is expected to reduce travel time by 31 minutes and accommodate 370,000 passengers annually.

The subway project is envisioned to become a 25- kilometer underground mass transport system linking major business districts and government centers and will be funded through official development assistance (ODA) from the Japanese government.
Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary John Timothy Batan said that the Mega Manila Subway would provide a mode of transportation going from north to south on the eastern part of the metropolis.

“Metro Manila is on a north-south capital. To the west, we have the alignment for LRT Line 1 which will further extend up to Cavite. In the center of Metro Manila, we have the alignment of the PNR which serves that corridor. But if you will go to the right or eastern side, then we notice that there is really no available or existing right of way that will allow us to develop a north-south mass transport corridor. That’s precisely the reason why the roadmap for transport development for Metro Manila identified the Mega Manila Subway as the optimal mode for us to provide that much needed transport corridor in the east of Metro Manila,” Batan said.

The subway system from Quezon City to Taguig would consist of 13 stations. Among its proposed stops are: Mindanao Avenue, North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, East Avenue, Anonas, Katipunan, Ortigas North, Ortigas South, Kalayaan, Bonifacio Global City, Cayetano Boulevard, Food Terminal Inc. and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Its feasibility study, which is being conducted with the help of a grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA, is expected to be completed by July.

The subway is eventually envisioned to start from San Jose del Monte, Bulacan to Dasmarinas City, Cavite.