THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said it will solicit bids to construct five more sections of the Metro Manila Subway this year after it broke ground on the first segment Wednesday.
“[There are] six civil works contract packages including this… packages 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8… Everything else will be published at the same time by the end of the year. Then we will award by middle of next year,” DoTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John R. Batan told reporters during the groundbreaking event in Valenzuela City.
The groundbreaking marked the official start of the P365-billion subway project, which is scheduled to hit a partial operations milestone by 2022, covering the first three stations. Full operations over the entire 36-kilometer route are due by 2025.
Last week, the government signed its first, P51-billion contract with a Japanese-led consortium to design and build the initial section of the subway. The contract also covers the subway’s depot and the Philippine Railways Institute which will be the training facility for the subway’s operators.
Mr. Batan said the first contract — which was signed with the Shimizu Joint Venture (Shimizu Corp., Fujita Corp., Takenaka Civil Engineering Co., Ltd. and EEI Corp.) — is the biggest because of the depot, but the remaining five contracts will cover only two to three stations per package. Like the first package, these are also required to be awarded to a Japanese prime contractor.
For the operations and management (O&M) of the subway, Mr. Batan said the department also hopes to publish the bid invitation by the end of the year. The O&M concession period is still being determined.
The Metro Manila Subway is part of the government’s Build, Build, Build program, funded by a Japanese loan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
“We support the Philippines in shifting the ‘Build, Build, Build’ Program into higher gear. With cutting-edge technology, the Philippines can count on Japan’s extensive experience in railway operations,” Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda said during the groundbreaking program.
The subway will have 19 train sets with eight cars each, which is expandable to 10 cars in the future. With the launch of partial operations in 2022, the subway is expected to benefit around 100,000 passengers. By the time the whole line is operational in 2025, it is expected to carry some 370,000 passengers.
The basic alignment of the train line will have 15 stations: Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora, North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, East Avenue, Anonas, Katipunan, Ortigas North, Ortigas South, Kalayaan Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Lawton East, Lawton West, FTI (Food Terminal Inc.) and Bicutan. It will also have an optional extension from Lawton West station to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). — Denise A. Valdez