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2月14日のまにら新聞から

Construction starts on two subway stations, tunnels

[ 690 words|2023.2.14|英字 (English) ]

By Robina Asido

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) led the groundbreaking ceremony for two Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) stations and tunnels in Quezon City on Monday.

The event that was led by Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista was also attended by Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative Sakamoto Takema, Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co., Ltd. Project Director Hitoshi Yamaji and Embassy of Japan in the Philippines Minister for Economic Affairs Nihei Daisuke.

The ceremony includes the benediction and lowering of the time capsule and equipment driving near gate six inside Camp Aguinaldo. The ceremony of breaking the sake barrel was also participated by Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Gen. Andres Centino and Quezon City Mayor Ma. Josefina Belmonte.

"This underground segment between Anonas and Camp Aguinaldo that transport 6.6 kilometers will cost more than 21.13 billion pesos to construct with the contract awarded to Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Company," he added.

As he expressed his gratitude to the government of Japan for the unwavering support to the Philippines' first underground railway system, Bautista said the MMSP construction is expected to create more than 18,000 jobs with a total project cost of P488.47 billion to be sourced through a loan from JICA.

"This underground segment between Anonas and Camp Aguinaldo that transport 6.6 kilometers will cost more than 21.13 billion pesos to construct with the contract awarded to Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Company," he said.

Bautista said the MMSP with 17 stations has an entire length of 33.1 kilometers and can accommodate more than 300 thousand passengers a day using a car train set that has a capacity of as many as 2,242 passengers.

"The subway will run from Valenzuela City to the Food Terminal Incorporated site in Bicutan with the spur line to NAIA Terminal Three," he said.

"Travel time from Valenzuela to Bicutan will just be 45 minutes. A 30.37 hectare train depot is being built in Valenzuela. That train depo will also be the location of the Philippine Railway Institute," he added.

Bautista said the whole subway is expected to be operational by 2028 with partial operation by 2027.

Bautista said the security of the military will not be threatened with the establishment of the MMSP Camp Aguinaldo Station.

"It will not become a security threat because it is underground and its construction is very secure. We use Japanese technology here," he said.

Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez, chairman of the Rail Regulatory Unit of DOTr, said once the subway station becomes operational , it will be separated from the military camp.

"The station plaza is on the top and underneath is the station box... for the station box we have an average of three to four entry, so the station box considered it from 7,000 square meters (sqm) to as high as 10,000 sqm. The entry and exit of the station will be outside the Camp Aguinaldo," he said.

Nihei stressed that the MMSP will not only address traffic in the National Capital Region (NCR) but it will also attract more foreign investment in the Philippines.

"In the near future, Filipino people can enjoy a comfortable and convenient subway system equipped with cutting edge technology from Japan. The subway is able to reduce the traffic congestion and make Metro Manila a city ( that is) eco-friendly and also make it attractive to investors from foreign countries," he said.

"With the completion of the subway and using the subway, Filipinos will be able to spend more time with their families because the subway can realize the speedy schedule," he added.

As he acknowledged that groundbreaking is a great progress, Sakamoto noted that the event is "only the beginning" citing the challenges that needs to address for which includes "land acquisition and right-of-way, timely budget appropriation and contract payments, and coordination among the several stakeholders such as land owners, residents and LGUs."

"Nonetheless, I am confident that, with the leadership of Honorable Secretary Bautista, Undersecretary Chavez and their team, the project will be able to overcome difficulties along the way, and to gear up towards its successful completion full speed ahead," he said. DMS