TOKYO — Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista on Friday said the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are in planning to put up more underground railway systems in Metro Manila which would extend all the way to Cavite.
“As early as now, we are already planning for more subways in Metro Manila because this will ease the traffic,” Bautista said during the Philippine Business Opportunities Forum here.
In a chance interview, the Transportation chief said the discussions for more subways is in the planning stage.
“Nasa planning stage... mga tatlo o apat na ‘’yun. Metro Manila lahat hanggang Cavite,” Bautista said.
The Cabinet official said the planned subways maybe connected to the Metro Manila Subway Project, which is now under construction.
Asked when the subways will be built, Bautista said, “Matagal pa ‘yun…”
“We will have to prepare feasiblity studies.”
Meanwhile, Bautista said during the forum attended by the Japanese business community that the operations of the tunnel boring machines for the Metro Manila Subway is now ongoing.
“We hope this will be completed before the end of the term of the President,” Bautista said.
The Philippines’ first subway rail system is part of the former administration’s "Build Build Build" flagship infrastructure program.
It will be 33 kilometers long with 17 stations.
The project aims to cut travel time from North Avenue in Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from one hour and 10 minutes to just 35 minutes.
It will traverse the cities of Valenzuela, Quezon City, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, Parañaque, and Pasay.
The line will have an initial capacity of up to one million passengers per day.
The Metro Manila Subway has a total project cost of P488.48 billion or ¥1.08 trillion.
The bulk of the project will be funded by JICA, accounting for 75.9% or P370.77 billion. The Philippines will finance the remaining 24.1% or P117.71 billion.
The Philippine government and JICA have so far signed two tranches of loan agreements—the first tranche amounting to ¥104.53 billion, or P47.58 billion, was signed in March 2018, while the second tranche, amounting to ¥253.31 billion, or P112.87 billion, was inked in February 2022. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News