The Department of Transportation (DoTr) said implementation of the Metro Manila Subway project will not be delayed despite the COVID-19 epidemic.
“We will not stop because of [COVID-19],” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tagude was quoted as saying in a statement. “We will not stop working.”
Tugade made the assurance to meet the target deadline for the 36-kilometer subway by 2021 during the DoTr chief’s meeting with Economic Minister Masahiro Nakata of the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Senior Representative Kiyo Kawabuchi, Shimizu Corp.’s Monichiro Tsuchiya, and EEI President and Chief Executive Officer Roberto Jose Castillo on the monthly progress of the project’s tunnel boring machine.
Government aims to complete the first phase of the project including underground stations at the Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora and North Avenue, as well as tunnel structures, the Valenzuela Depot, and facilities for the Philippine Railway Institute.
Manila and JICA signed in March 2018 the first tranche of their loan agreement worth 104.53 billion yen for the first phase.
The Department of Finance earlier said the subway could cost about P356.96 billion, or $7 billion.
The DoTr expects 370,000 passengers expected to patronize the rail system during the first year of full operations.