The Makati City government on Tuesday signed a joint venture agreement (JVA) with Philippine Infradev Holdings Inc. (Infradev) for an intra-city subway project in Makati City dubbed ‘MkTr’ with an estimated cost of $3.5 billion.
Makati City Mayor Abby Binay said: “Hindi po ito drawing, hindi po ito pangako. Magkakatotoo na ang unang-unang subway sa Pilipinas.”
“So, 2025 is not the completion of the project but the operation. So dapat by 2025 tumatakbo na siya. It is a very conservative estimate in terms of completion. Sabi nila kaya late 2024,” Binay said.
“10-10-10 nga eh. Kasi 10 stations, 10 kilometers, 10 minutes. So, from one end to another, the trip should only take you 10 minutes,” Binay added.
Infradev president and chief executive officer Antonio Tiu dubbed the project as the largest Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project ever undertaken by a local government unit (LGU).
“This is the first time that a local government has undertaken this large-scale PPP project. This is the biggest PPP project to-date and this is one of the biggest foreign investment projects to date,” Tiu said.
With a total projected cost of $3.5 billion, Tiu said the actual cost may be lower using technology from its Chinese partner.
The city government will have a hand in running the subway from its construction to its operation.
“This is a joint venture agreement; this is not a build-operate transfer so the city will always be a part of this project,” Binay said.
The mayor said it was too early to speculate on how much the fare would cost as it would depend on the country’s inflation rate and cost of electricity in 2025, but Tiu added it would be about the same as the MRT-3 fare.
Earthquakes and fault lines in the area have been taken into consideration by a feasibility study on the project and is an engineering concern that will be addressed by its construction team.
The MkTr will have up to 10 air-conditioned, underground stations which can accommodate up to six car trains, with room for over 200 persons per car.
More than 700,000 passengers per day could be accommodated by the mass transport system. Groundworks will begin within the next few months in preparation for the arrival of a tunnel boring machine this December , Tiu said.
A major consideration of the project’s feasibility study was its potential interconnectivity with the national government’s planned rail projects under the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.
“If you study the 10 stations of the subway, it starts with Edsa where all the people that go into the city gets off. So, we also take into consideration the possibility of the national government building a railway system that connects with the airport,” Binay said.
The project seeks to achieve is to encourage more pedestrians through lack of necessity for private motorized transport.
“Sa Makati it’s one step further. Not just getting back the streets for cars but allowing people to walk dito sa Makati. Gusto natin na eventually dadating ang panahon na magkakaroon ng car-less day or car-less week. Or lalakihan natin yung mga pedestrian (lanes) natin or even our bike lanes. So kailangan muna may mass transportation system ka bago mo magawa lahat ‘yun,” Binay said.
The Makati city mayor said around 10,000 jobs would be created by the project from its construction down to its operation in 2025. A majority of the jobs will be reserved for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and able-bodied senior citizens. (PNA)