By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter
THE Makati City government and the consortium led by Philippine Infradev Holdings, Inc. (formerly IRC Properties, Inc.) broke ground on Wednesday the $3.7-billion Makati City Subway Project which aims to build an intracity railway system in the business district.
Makati Mayor Mar-Len Abigail S. Binay and Philippine Infradev President and Chief Executive Officer Antonio L. Tiu led the drilling program in front of the Makati City Hall, which is eyed as a subway stop for the 10-kilometer line.
At the same time, the Makati City government and the consortium formed by Philippine Infradev and Chinese firms Greenland Holdings Group, Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group Co. Ltd., Holdings Ltd. and China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. signed on Wednesday a memorandum of understanding (MoU), signalling the beginning of the preparatory works for the project.
“Right now, we have a tentative route already. But the actual stations will still have to be finalized with the preparatory works to be done. So they have to do the soil testing, they have to check the feasibility of placing the different locations,” Makati City government spokesperson Michael Arthur R. Camiña told reporters after the event.
Philippine Infradev’s Mr. Tiu said the proposed alignment would begin at Ayala Avenue and would end near Ospital ng Makati. He estimated the travel time would be around 15 minutes from the two points.
The entire railway is slated for completion in 2025. Once completed, the subway will accommodate up to 700,000 passengers a day.
“The Makati Subway is a major infrastructure undertaking aimed at decongesting the traffic. So far, the country needs it and IRC is very capable of undertaking this,” Mr. Tiu said.
Mr. Camiña said the 30-year concession agreement for the Makati Subway is expected to be signed next year, once the preparatory works end.
“We’re looking siguro by next year na yun [We’re looking that will come by next year]. Because the MoU, we have to do feasibility studies and soil testing and the likes, and that will take several months. So baka mid-year next year or end of the year na ma-finalize yung contract [So maybe by mid next year or end of the year will that be finalized],” he said.
Philippine Infradev, then as IRC Properties, submitted in June the unsolicited proposal for the Makati City Subway Project. It told the stock exchange in October it has been approved by the Makati government after a Swiss challenge.
The terms of the project include possible connections to other transport systems such as the Metro Rail Transit Line 3, the Pasig River ferry and the proposed Metro Manila Mega Subway.