Cost of US$4.4-B Metro Manila subway may go up: NEDA chief

August 28, 2017 - 2:43 PM
NEDA director general Ernesto Pernia (R) poses with (L-R) Kevin Tan, Public Works Sec. Mark Villar, Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade and Andrew Tan at the opening of Runaway Manila at NAIA Terminal 3 in file photo by Avito C.Dalan, PNA.

MANILA – The US$4.4-billion subway system for Metro Manila, targeted for full completion before President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends in 2022, may require cost adjustments, said the country’s chief economist.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Ernesto Pernia told reporters the project cost of the Mega Manila Subway is not “totally complete.”

“The cost may increase because the DOTr (Department of Transportation) wants to accelerate the completion from 2024 to 2022 which means that there will be more borers for the tunneling needed, therefore, the cost will go up,” he said.

Pernia said the project cost could probably reach US$6 billion or US$7 billion, but added, “we don’t know the exact number (yet).”

The project’s feasibility study was conducted with the help of a grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

President Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were set to sign an agreement for the construction of the subway project on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in November.

The P227-billion Mega Manila Subway, from Quezon City to Taguig City, is a 25-kilometer underground mass transportation system connecting major business districts and government centers.

It is expected to serve around 370,000 passengers per day in its opening year.