Home Editors' Picks Megawide, 2 Japanese firms secure P13-B subway deal

Megawide, 2 Japanese firms secure P13-B subway deal

CONSTRUCTION of the Metro Manila subway project is seen in Valenzuela, March 8. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

A JOINT VENTURE composed of two Japanese construction companies and Megawide Construction Corp. bagged the P13.26-billion contract to build the two stations of the Japan-funded Metro Manila Subway, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said.

The contract was awarded to the joint venture of Tokyu Construction, Tobishima Construction, and Megawide, according to a notice of award issued by DoTr Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Reinier Paul R. Yebra on April 22.

The contract involves the construction of the Ortigas North and South subway stations and tunneling works.

However, the contract award still requires concurrence by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and compliance with the procurement standards for the Japanese official development assistance (ODA) loans. 

Sought for comment, a Megawide representative said: “As the official award/contract is yet to be announced by the DoTr, we defer to them first on releasing any information regarding the project.”

The DoTr began seeking bidders for the construction of the two subway stations and tunneling works in 2020.

Since the Metro Manila Subway project is funded by ODA from Japan, a Japanese firm should be the prime contractor. Companies from any country are eligible to serve as sub-contractors, according to the DoTr’s bid bulletin.

A joint venture will be eligible for the contract as long as “the nationality of the lead partner is Japan, that the nationality of other partners is Japan and/or the Republic of the Philippines, and that the local share of work of Japanese partners in the joint ventures is more than 50% of the contract amount,” the DoTr said.

The Metro Manila Subway will have 17 stations between Valenzuela and Bicutan.

Transportation Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John R. Batan said at a forum last week that the Metro Manila Subway involves 13 contracts, six of which have been awarded. This includes a P26.75-billion contract to supply 240 train cars that was awarded to the joint venture of Japan Transport Engineering Co. and Sumitomo Corp.

Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said in January that the tunnel works for the country’s first underground railway system was expected to start by the second quarter.

The government initially planned to launch partial operations this year and full operations in 2025, but Mr. Tugade has said this is no longer possible due to the limitations brought by the pandemic. Partial operation of the subway is now expected in 2025, while full operation is eyed by 2027.

“Once operational, the (Metro Manila Subway) will reduce travel time between Quezon City and NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) from 1 hour and 10 minutes to just 35 minutes,” the DoTr said in a January statement.

Two out of 25 tunnel boring machines from Japan that will be used for the project arrived in Manila in February.

The project was first proposed and planned in 1973 as part of the Urban Transportation Study in the Manila Metropolitan Area, according to the DoTr.

Shares in Megawide went up by 0.80% to P5.04 each on Monday. — Arjay L. Balinbin