The construction of the long-awaited Metro Manila or Mega Manila
Subway is now underway. The
Department of Transportation recently broke ground on the
Philippines' first underground railway last February 27, 2019. The
first phase of the joint Japanese-Filipino project of Shimizu
Corp., Fujita Corp., Takenaka Civil Engineering Co. Ltd., and EEI
Corp. is expected to be
completed in 2022 while all 15 stations will be fully operational
The Metro Manila subway system is the headliner or the first of
the high-impact projects of the government under the "Build, Build,
Build" program. It is divided into 2 phases and will run from North
Caloocan to Cavite. Major central business districts in Makati,
BGC, and Quezon City are forecasted to benefit as the subway routes
are expected to run through these business locations.
According to the
project's executive summary, there will be a total of 13
stations situated in Quezon City, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, and
Paranaque in phase 1. The subway's depot will be located in
Valenzuela, making the North Caloocan area more connected to the
other cities. The subway promises a commuter a quick 35-minute ride
from Mindanao Avenue to FTI station.
Inside the 'Mega Manila Subway'
The subway line for Metro Manila is 30.8-km long and is
considering placing a station for the Ninoy Aquino International
Airport (NAIA). The
Infrastructure Cluster Performance Report shared that a common
station will also be built to integrate the subway with the Metro
Rail Transit (MRT) 3, and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) 1 and 2. The
railway will also be connected to PITX and the Cavite Gateway
Terminal in Tanza.
According to the DOT, a fleet of 19 trains with 8 car per train
will service all 14 stations with an operating speed of 80 kph. The
subway system is expected to carry 608,000 passengers per day with
a travel time of 35 to 43 minutes.
Improving accessibility to offices,
BGC, Makati, and Quezon City's estate developments and offices
will benefit significantly given the high concentration of stations
near these submarkets. Out of the 15 stations, 6 will be located in
Quezon City in the following key areas: Mindanao Avenue-Quirino
Highway, Tandang Sora, North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, East Avenue,
North Avenue houses the Ayala Land's new mixed township, Vertis
North. It features condominiums, hotels, shopping malls, and office
spaces for lease in Vertis North Corporate Center.
The subway route is also near the city of Makati, making the top
financial district more open to the workforce. As the primary
central business district in NCR, it is home to iconic office
building such as Insular Life
Building along Ayala Avenue and V Corporate Center in
BGC will also be one of the 4 stations situated in Taguig City.
This will most likely the commute to office buildings such as ArthaLand Century
Pacific Tower (ACPT), Inoza Tower,
ACCRALaw Tower, Finance Centre, High Street
Corporate Center, and One
Park Drive more convenient to the commuters.
Other office submarkets such as Ortigas, Pasig, and Paranaque
will be covered by the Mega Manila subway system. The Metro Manila
subway will traverse through Paranaque and will be an additional
transport option to get to the Paranaque Integrated
Terminal Exchange, and offices in Landco Corporate Centre, FLDI Corporate Center, and Ri Rance Corporate
The subway is also projected to
rise inside government property. This will cover the Manila
Seedlings Bank, Veteran's Memorial Medical Center, Camp Aguinaldo,
National Mapping and Resource Information Authority, and Bases and
Conversion Development Authority.
report shows that subway infrastructure can assist in easing
traffic congestion in the National Capital Region (NCR). The rail
system can help change people's mindset and place their trust in
public transportation rather than investing heavily on private
vehicles. Dutch experts also claim that this could be the
Philippines' chance to follow its ASEAN counterparts who have
successfully transformed its public transport efficiently.
The Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA) reported that
the country is
losing Php 3.5 billion due to its severe traffic congestion.
JICA Philippines Office Chief Representative Susumu Ito noted that
it can increase to Php 5.4 billion a day in 2035. However, the
government's "Build Build Build" program-where the subway system
falls-are expected to mitigate and eventually decrease it to Php 3
billion a day.
Innovating for disaster-proof transport
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology
(PHILVOCS) that 357 billion-peso Metro Manila Subway is
safe from earthquakes. DOST Undersecretary Renato Solidum Jr.
said that its route will not pass by the West Valley Fault that is
ripe to move soon.
Solidum noted that it took extra precaution in the planning and
aligning of the subway system to avoid future disasters. He also
noted that underground railways are more "earthquake proof" as it
moves with the ground compared to elevated train systems.