DOTC studies P20-B savings from 1 of 2 alternative routes
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is studying whether a proposed subway system below the 26th Avenue in Bonifacio Global City that costs P20 billion less would be the better alternative for a planned Mass Transit System Loop in the district.
DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the original proposal was for a route below 32nd Avenue as part of the P370-billion Mass Transit System Loop (MTSL).
First Philippine subway
The planned MTSL project is intended to connect the fast-developing central business districts of Bonifacio Global City (BGC), the Makati Central Business District, and the Mall of Asia area in Pasay City.
The high-capacity MTSL will have interchange stations with the existing Light Rail Transit (LRT-1), the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3), and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) lines along its approximately 12-kilometer long route. Almost the entire line will run underground, making it the first subway in the country.
The proposed alignment runs from the MRT-3 Taft Avenue station at Edsa, westward along Edsa to Macapagal Boulevard, northward to Sen. Gil Puyat (Buendia) Avenue, then eastward along Gil Puyat and Ayala Avenue to meet Edsa again in Makati.
In the original proposal, the subway line would follow Edsa northward for a short distance, then follow 32nd Street through BGC to Market Market. The new proposal is a straighter route to Market Market following McKinley Road and 26th Street.
The MTSL project, which was given initial approval by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) last month, is currently undergoing further evaluations while waiting for final approval of President B.S. Aquino 3rd in his capacity as head of the NEDA board.
The eventual private sector partner for the MTSL project is expected to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the mass transit system.
The project has an indicative cooperation period of 31 years.
“The P20 billion is the difference in cost,” between the two BGC alignment options, DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya told reporters. “Initially we were looking at 32nd [Avenue]. It’s costly, but [it’s] a predictable environment.”
“What is important is the project should be implemented, but NEDA suggested that we present the 26th (the new alternative route). So we will present. The P20 billion difference is significant in terms of schools, health centers and scholarships. It’s a huge amount,” Abaya explained.