By Lorenz S. Marasigan, January 10, 2022; Business Mirror

The P357-billion Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) has reached 25.09-percent completion, according to Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade.

The chief of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the MMSP’s overall progress rate is a substantial advancement from when it was first conceived “more than 40 years and six administrations” ago.

“Now, the MMSP is already Neda [National Economic and Development Authority] Board-approved, already funded by the Japanese; its partial operability civil works, trains and electromechanical systems already contracted. Actual construction works by the design-build contractor for the partial operability section began in 2019 with site clearing works at MMSP’s Valenzuela Depot,” Tugade said over the weekend.

In February last year, two out of 25 Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) to be used for the MMSP, arrived in the country, marking the start of the construction phase of the project.

The MMSP, dubbed as the “project of the century,” is envisioned to be a 36-kilometer underground railway system that will run from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 3 in Pasay City.

Once completed, the subway can accommodate 370,000 passengers per day and will reduce travel time between Quezon City and Pasay City to 45 minutes from 1 hour and 10 minutes.

The subway will be interconnected to the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Lines 3 and 7, and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 via the common station.

It will also be linked to the LRT 2 in Anonas, Quezon City. The subway will also be designed to have a physical through run into the future Philippine National Railways (PNR) Calamba via FTI Station, which means that one can board the subway in Valenzuela then go to Calamba, Laguna without changing trains.

The DOTr targets partial operability of the subway this year.