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OC Global, a Japanese consortium, was awarded the contract to build the Metro Manila subway.

Japanese consortium bags subway contract

A Japanese consortium has been awarded a contract to build the Metro Manila Subway, a key project under the Duterte administration’s “Build Build Build” program.

“For the Metro Manila Subway project, the winning bidder is OC Global… The amount involved is P11 billion,” Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno told reporters in a press briefing.

He identified the consortium members as Oriental Consultants Global Co. Ltd., Tokyo Metro Co. Ltd., Katahira & Engineers International, Pacific Consultants Co Ltd.,Tonichi Engineering Consultants, Inc., and Metro Development Co. Ltd.

The Philippines and Japan officially signed a 104.53-billion yen (about $935 million) loan agreement, representing the first tranche of Tokyo’s commitment to the subway project, in March.

The loan, which the country is expected to repay over 40 years with a 12-year grace period, carries interest rates of 0.10 and 0.01 percent per year, respectively, for non-consulting and consulting services.

The first phase involves the Central Zone component, which covers the construction of around 30 kilometers of railway with 14 stations and a possible one- to two-station expansion from Mindanao Ave. in Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City.

The project also includes the construction of a depot in Valenzuela, installation of electro-mechanical systems and rolling stock, and the establishment of a Philippine Railway Institute.

The first three stations of the subway — Mindanao Ave., Tandang Sora, and North Avenue — are expected to be operational in May 2022. The Central Zone is targeted to be fully operational by 2025.

Subsequent expansions call for a North Zone that will extend to Bulacan and a South Zone running to Cavite.

Government officials have earlier said that ground-breaking for the project would be held before the end of 2018.

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