NEDA prefers ‘cheaper’ BGC route for subway project
MANILA, Philippines – Simply cheaper. Thus the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is pushing for the alternative route in building the country’s first subway system project.
NEDA asked the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to present the route using 26th Street instead of 32nd Street inside Bonifacio Global City for the P370 billion ($8.39 billion), 12-kilometer Mass Transit System Loop project. This would connect the cities of Makati, Taguig, and Pasay, DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said.
NEDA prefers the route using 26th Street because government would have to shell out an additional P20 billion ($452.95 million) for the route using 32nd Street, Abaya explained.
“It’s a difference in cost. That is a huge amount that could be used for school buildings, health centers, and scholarships,” Abaya conceded.
But he explained, “The risk in using the 26th Street would have to be evaluated because they could take this to the court for a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order). Initially we were looking at 32nd Street. Although more expensive, it has a more predictable environment and it’s important that we implement the project.”
DOTC prefers 32nd Street as the last stop because the 26th Street route could entail some legal issues and impediments as the subway system would have to pass through Manila Golf along McKinley Avenue.
If it passes through 26th Street, the subway stations would include Market-Market, McKinley Parkway, 5th Avenue, Ayala/EDSA, Ayala Triangle, Makati Post Office, PNR Buendia, Buendia/Taft Avenue, World Trade Center, Mall of Asia, and EDSA/Taft Avenue.
If the subway system ends at 32nd Street, the stops would include Market-Market, St Luke’s Medical Center, MRT3 Buendia Station, Ayala/EDSA, Ayala Triangle, Makati Post Office, PNR Buendia, Buendia/Taft Avenue, World Trade Center, Mall of Asia, and EDSA/Taft Avenue.
Most expensive PPP deal
The agency is hoping that the proposed subway system could be presented within the year to the NEDA Board chaired by President Benigno Aquino III.
The subway project, once approved, will become the biggest and most expensive public-private partnership (PPP) project in the history of the Aquino administration.
The Mass Transit Loop project aims to improve inter-city linkage by providing a higher capacity public transportation system. It also intends to address the high volume of vehicular traffic traversing the major business districts of Metro Manila.
Given Metro Manila’s current infrastructure, it was determined that the rail line of approximately 12 kilometers will need to run mostly underground, making this the first subway in the country.
Frequent PPP bidders Metro Pacific Investment Corporation (MPIC) and MTD Philippines earlier said they were interested in the project. – Rappler.com
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