Philippines launches construction of first underground metro line in Manila
The first-ever subway or underground railway system finally pushes into reality as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) formally starts with clearing works in the Partial Operability (PO) Section of the Metro Manila Subway Project.
The Partial Operability Section of the subway comprises the first stations in Valenzuela City and Quezon City, the line's depot in Valenzuela City, and buildings for the Philippine Railway Institute (PRI), the country's first-ever railway training center.
A ceremony to formalize the start of the subway's construction was held at the depot site in Barangay Ugong in Valenzuela City on December 21, 2019. The depot site is also where the subway line's East Valenzuela Station will be located.
Dubbed as the “Project of the Century,” the underground rail line is expected to serve 370,000 passengers daily in its first year of full operations, and is targeted to be partially operable by 2021.
Once completed and fully operational, the Metro Manila Subway Project will have a total of 15 stations, including a terminal station at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.
Part of the ceremony was the distribution of checks and the signing of deeds of absolute sale with project-affected landowners, as well as a testimonial video presentation of project-affected informal settler families that have already been relocated to Valenzuela’s Disiplina Village.
This formal start of clearing operations at the subway's Valenzuela depot is part of DOTr’s continuing efforts to muster all factors needed in building the underground railway project and in dealing with right-of-way acquisition issues.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, who led the ceremony, noted the progress in the right-of-way acquisition both in terms of acquiring land from legal owners and relocation of informal settler families.
Following the official transfer of the properties from the landowners to the DOTr, contractors then started the clearing and fencing of portions of the depot.
DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said with the funding in place, contractor signed-up, detailed designs completed, and right-of-way substantially acquired, the Metro Manila Subway Project is on track to delivering its promise of a more comfortable life to every Filipino.