NEDA says Tugade’s move to finish subway within Duterte term will push cost by 60% to $7B
MANILA — National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) chief Ernesto Pernia admitted that the $4.4 billion cost estimate for the subway system for Metro Manila, targeted for full completion before President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends in 2022, could swell by as much as 60 percent.
Pernia told reporters the project cost of the Mega Manila Subway was not “totally complete” because Transportation Secretary Art Tugade wanted to accelerate the project’s completion before President Rodrigo Duterte stepped down from office.
“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 $6 billion or $7 billion, but noting “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 on its opening year. (PNA)
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