Metro Manila Subway Project breaks ground today

The Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) hailed as the “project of the century,” will be the country’s first-ever underground railway system.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arturo Tugade envisions a Philippine society where public transport is an equalizer – a society where commuters, rich or poor, in Manila, Davao, Cebu, or elsewhere, all experience the same level of comfort and convenience in their daily commute.

The directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is simple: make the Filipino life comfortable. The DOTr, under the strong-willed leadership of Secretary Arthur Tugade, entails delivering solutions that will enhance mobility and connectivity, solutions that will relieve the suffering of millions of Filipinos who struggle in their daily commute, solutions that will equalize the commuting experience of all Filipinos, regardless of stature.

This morning, one of these solutions comes to life in Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela City, the DOTr breaks ground for a mass transit project that will transform the economic and social landscape of the National Capital Region.

A flagship project under the Duterte Administration’s “Build, Build, Build” Program, the Metro Manila Subway will be built with the support of the Government of Japan through an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The Metro Manila Subway Features:

  • An expansive 36-kilometer railway system
  • It will have 15 stations from Quirino Highway in Quezon City to NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay and FTI in Taguig, crossing 7 local governments, and passing through 3 of Metro Manila’s business districts.
  • With a speed of up to 80 kilometers per hour, travel time from Quezon City to NAIA Terminal 3 will go down to as short as 30 minutes.

Metro Manila’s exposure to weather and seismic events a condition very similar to that of Japan, the Metro Manila Subway employs proven Japanese technologies to make the system resilient against natural disasters.

In fact, last week, Secretary Tugade himself inspected Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM), subway flood control equipment, and other technological advancements and practices in railway operations during his visit in Japan.


Partial Operability Section

On February 20, 2019, the DOTr signed the main contract for the design and build of the Metro Manila Subway’s depot and first three stations, or its partial operability section, along with the structures and facilities of the Philippine Railway Institute. The first three stations consist of the Quirino Highway-Mindanao Avenue Station, Tandang Sora Station, and North Avenue Station.

Partial operability of the Subway with its first three stations is targeted for 2022, while full operations of all 15 stations will be in 2025. In its first year of full operations, the MMSP is expected to serve up to 370,000 passengers daily, but has a design capacity to accommodate up to 1.5 million passengers per day.

Under the design-build contract, the Joint Venture of Shimizu Corporation, Fujita Corporation, Takenaka Civil Engineering Co., Ltd., and EEI Corporation (Shimizu Joint Venture) will design and build the first three stations, tunnel structures, the subway’s Valenzuela Depot, and the facilities of the Philippine Railway Institute.


By Cameron Arciaga