By Genalyn Kabiling
The first-ever subway in Metro Manila could be partially operational by 2020 to help ease traffic congestion, Malacañang said today.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the remarks after the Philippine government forged a loan agreement with Japan on the proposed Metro Manila Subway project.
The P51.3-billion agreement would finance the initial phase of the subway project, considered the biggest Philippine infrastructure project to be funded by Japan’s Official Development Assistance, according to Roque.
“We are moving a step closer to having our first subway system that would help alleviate traffic congestion in Metro Manila,” Roque said during a press conference in Camarines Sur.
“The construction of the 36-kilometer subway will begin next year and is expected to be completed by 2025. The subway will begin partial operations by 2020,” he added.
Once completed, Roque said the subway would have 16 stations and will run from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City up to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The entire subway project, estimated to cost P355.6 billion, is among the big-ticket infrastructure projects in the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
Under the government’s pact with Japan International Cooperation Agency, the loan reportedly must be repaid within 40 years with a 12-year grace period.