The initial three stations of the country’s first subway is seen ready by May 2022 if the construction process starts this midyear, government officials said.

In line with the ‘fast and sure’ approach, the Philippine government processed the loan approvals for this project within six months only, from the National Economic and Development Authority Board approval on Sept. 12, 2017, up to the signing of the loan agreement today. We are targeting May 2022 to begin operation of the first three of the subway stations—Mindanao Avenue-Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora, and North Avenue,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a speech after the signing ceremony of the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s 104.5-billion yen or about PhP 51 billion first tranche of official development assistance for the P356.9-billion Metro Manila Subway Project Phase 1.

The entirety of the central zone will be operational by 2025. This includes the commercial space for the subway stations essential in defraying the cost of operating the said facility, Domiguez added.

The plan for the subway line envisions a north zone that will extend to Bulacan and a south zone that will extend to Cavite. I am confident that the succeeding administrations will get this done,” he furthered.

The 30-kilometer underground train will traverse 14stations linking Mindanao Avenue and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, with the possible addition of two more stations which is still under the planning stage by the Department of Transportation.

The project includes a depot in Valenzuela, electro-mechanical systems and rolling stock, and the establishment of a Philippine Railway Institute. The institute will provide training as well as do research and development on regulation, train operations and maintenance. This will build a corps of expert train personnel to manage not only the subway system but all the commuter rail lines of the country. It is about time that our commuter lines be run by real experts,” Dominguez said.

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