Manila subway to break ground mid-Jan.

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THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DoTr) said the groundbreaking for the Japan-funded Metro Manila Subway project has been moved to January due to conflicts in schedule with Japanese representatives. Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade told reporters on Friday the start of construction for the subway has also been moved a month later from the planned Dec. 19 schedule. “For the groundbreaking of the subway I really wanted that on the 19th (of December), but what was the issue? The availability of the people, of those coming from Japan. Because you know, it’s the holidays… So they asked on both sides if it could be rescheduled somewhere mid-Jan.,” he said in Filipino. The Philippine government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed in March a 104.53-billion yen (P50.12-billion) loan for the Metro Manila Subway project. The P356.96-billion, 25-kilometer railway will run from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City, and is scheduled to start partial operations in May 2022. This will cover the opening of the first three stations, namely: Mindanao Avenue-Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora and North Avenue. Full operations of the train line is targeted by 2025 and is seen to accommodate around 370,000 passengers daily. Mr. Tugade said he wants the Manila subway to be integrated with the 10-kilometer Makati City Subway Project of the Makati City government and Philippine Infradev Holdings, Inc. (formerly IRC Properties, Inc.) when it finishes construction in 2025. — Denise A. Valdez