• PH, Japan eye early subway completion

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    The proposed Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) remains on track, the Transportation department said on Wednesday as it denied a report that the start of construction could be pushed back to December next year.

    “In fact, instead of the original completion date for the entire system in 2025, the DOTr (Department of Transportation) … has successfully agreed with the Japanese government to pursue the advance completion of a segment of MMSP by the 2nd quarter of 2022,” the department said in a statement.

    Following the National Economic and Development Authority’s (NEDA) approval of the project last September, the department said an exchange of notes would be held during next week’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, to be followed by the signing of the loan agreement in January next year.

    “Pre-construction activities” such as the preparation of designs, acquisition of right-of-way and the bidding out of construction and supply packages are also being undertaken.

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    “For the partial operability segment of MMSP, the above pre-construction activities are scheduled to be completed from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2018, with groundbreaking scheduled in the fourth quarter of 2018. All activities leading to this are on track,” the Transportation department said.

    Wednesday’s statement was prompted by news that a NEDA official had told a forum that the project schedule could be revised given an estimated timetable submitted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

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