The Metro Manila Subway is perhaps one of the most ambitious transportation infrastructure projects in the history of the Philippines. The P488.5-billion project initially had a target completion date of 2025, with partial operations expected by 2022. However, after pandemic-related delays and mishaps, it appears the country’s first subway will not be reaching its original completion date.
As first reported by Philstar.com, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has disclosed a new completion date for the Metro Manila Subway. It is now scheduled to begin partial operations by 2025 instead of this year. Meanwhile, full completion will happen by 2027, a full two years after the original target. As previously stated, COVID-19-related delays have brought about the revised completion schedule.
It’s an unfortunate development, as many expect the Metro Manila Subway to help alleviate traffic and congestion around the country’s capital region. Once completed, the subway system will ferry around 370,000 passengers per day during its first year of operation.
Back in February, the Philippine government agreed to the second tranche of a landmark loan agreement with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which agreed to provide P370.8-billion or 76 percent of the construction cost of the subway through a 27-year loan package. With a grace period of 13 years, the Philippines has 40 years to repay the second-tranche loan, which amounts to P112.9 billion.
The Metro Manila Subway will feature a train depot in Valenzuela that will connect to Bicutan in Taguig City and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City. The project covers the physical integration of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) System. That addition will involve the procurement of 30 trainsets and the construction of a new train depot with 17 stations, of which two of the stations will gain funding through a new and separate loan.