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Makati City, IRC consortium likely to break ground for subway project by year-end

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The Makati City government and a private consortium will break ground in December for a $3.7-billion subway project to decongest traffic in the country’s business and financial district. 

Not to be confused with the national government’s subway plan, the 10-kilometer urban rail system is expected to connect key public and business spots in Makati, Mayor Abigail Binay said Wednesday.

“The plan will be by the end of this year, mag-groundbreaking na po kami,” Binay told reporters at the weekly Kapihan sa Manila Bay. “Ang gusto po natin na target ay 2025.”

The intra-city mass transit rail line of up to 10 underground stations is an unsolicited public-private partnership proposal between a consortium led by IRC Properties Inc. and the city government.

The city government is not going to spend on the multibillion-dollar project, Binay said. “The city government will only contribute land it currently owns and which will be used in the subway system,” she said in a separate statement.

The subway line will connect the central business district along Ayala Avenue, the Makati City Hall, the Poblacion Heritage Site, the University of Makati, the Ospital ng Makati, and other new business zones in the city, Binay noted.

The IRC consortium proposes to build, operate and maintain the mass rail system, which is expected to accommodate 700,000 passengers a day and link to existing systems like the Metro Rail Transit and the Pasig River Ferry, as well as the anticipated Metro Manila subway.

The project has been opened to a Swiss Challenge, or a comparative bidding process, until September 24.

Binay, who is gunning for re-election in next year’s midterm elections, is eyeing the local subway project as her possible “legacy” after she finishes her mayoral stint.

“I have to see this subway finish,” she said. “This will solve all our problems when it comes to traffic.”

She said the construction would not cause traffic. “Underground po siya, wala pong mga road closures na mangyayari.” —VDS, GMA News
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