THE TRANSPORTATION department on Wednesday said the Metro Manila Subway Project is expected to start excavation activities in the first quarter (Q1) of 2022. 

“Lowering and assembly is two to three months, starting in December,” the department said in a statement, referring to the tunnel boring machine.  

The “drilling” will start in the first quarter of next year, it also said. 

Public works ban for the May national elections will run from March 25 to May 8, 2022, according to the Commission on Elections.  

The government broke ground on the first three stations in Feb. 2019 after the Transportation department signed a P51-billion deal with the Shimizu joint venture, which consists of Shimizu Corp., Fujita Corp., Takenaka Civil Engineering Co. Ltd., and EEI Corp.  

While the public will have to wait until 2025 for full operations of the 17-station subway, the government is planning to launch partial operations, covering the first three stations by 2022. — Arjay L. Balinbin