• DOTC mulls Metro subway rail system

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    THE Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) now believes that a mass transit project or a “subway” system such as the Mass Transit Loop System is a viable project to consider in addressing the high volume of vehicular traffic traversing the major business districts of Metro Manila.

    “It’s a viable project. We want to do it,” DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya told reporters.

    DOTC has vowed to resolve within the next 10 years the issues hounding the country’s transportation sector. Abaya has said that transportation is also about enhancing access to opportunities.

    The underground rail system project is expected to address growing concern over traffic congestion in the fast-growing business centers in Taguig, Makati and Pasay cities.

    The rail system aims to improve inter-city linkages by providing a higher-capacity public transportation system that would facilitate fast and convenient mobility of goods and services.

    “I have yet to get the final [inputs]. At the end of the day, kung ayaw nila [if they do not like it]and we see the benefit of it, then we have to expropriate underneath. That has not been tested yet. Sayang e [It’s a waste],” Abaya said.

    He added: “Parang ang daling sabihin [It seems so easy to say that the] DOTC can do it. You’re benefiting the rich few over the working class. It is a viable project; we want to do it.”

    “Hopefully within the year we could go up to NEDA [National Economic Development Authority],” Abaya added.

    The proposed project is composed of a 20-kilometer loop that would consist of a 16-kilometer tunnel and four-kilometers of elevated railway especially at the reclaimed area in Pasay City. The project would consist of 11 stations, consisting of five underground, four interchanges and two elevated.

    In July, Abaya delivered the closing remarks during the Daylight Dialogue, “The Good Governance Challenge,” held at the Malacañang Palace.  The DOTC secretary related that the agency aims to drastically improve the country’s transportation infrastructures.

    “We envision erasing the backlog in transportation infrastructure over the next five to 10 years, in such a way that the infrastructure we build will meet the country’s needs for the 10 to 20 years that follow,” he said.

    To achieve this, he said that the DOTC has adopted a fairer and more transparent approach in the implementation of its projects.

    Abaya stressed that major investments in infrastructure would spur the country’s development.

    “Imagine if we have a fully-operational freight rail system running across Luzon, allowing agri-based workers to move their produce hundreds of kilometers in a matter of hours, from their farms and fishing grounds to their consumer markets. Imagine if we have highly-functional roro (roll-on, roll off) routes, which allow inter-island shipment of these goods and cargos at affordable prices, expanding even further their market access,” Abaya had said.

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