January 9, 2023
“Let the launching of this Tunnel Boring Machine become a testament to this administration’s commitment to continue the projects of the previous administration and — more importantly — to build better more,” President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. expressed as he marked the beginning of underground works for the nation’s ‘Project of the Century’, the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP), at its depot in Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela City.
“As this project will be the first subway system in the Philippines, we take pride in its construction as a landmark event, and thank everyone who have toiled and continue to toil to ensure the realization of such an ambitious endeavor,” the President added in his keynote speech.
He also appealed to the Filipino public for their patience and support to the government because “big-ticket projects such as this will take years to be completed.”
Once fully operational by 2028, the ‘Crown Jewel’ of the public transport system in the Philippines will be able to serve 519,000 passengers daily and shorten travel time between Quezon City and Pasay City from one (1) hour and 30 minutes to only 35 minutes by maintaining a speed of 80 to 120 kilometers per hour.
“Having an effective and efficient transportation system will have multiplier effects on employment, the economy, and our society; it will also bring comfort, convenience, and an easier life for all,” President Marcos Jr. further emphasized.
Each of the six (6) TBMs uses a construction method called ‘Earth Pressure Balance’ (EPB) to even out the earth pressure and water pressure by using thrust jack cylinders and smoothly excavate soil which is also used as a support medium. Measuring a diameter of 6.88 meters and weighing approximately 700 tons, the TBM will be able to excavate more than 7.4 million cubic meters of soil, enough to fill 2,500 Olympic size swimming pools.
The idea of having a subway system in Metro Manila was first proposed in 1973 under the Urban Transport Study in Metropolitan Manila Area or the ‘Metro Manila Dream Plan’ to address the problems in traffic, land use and environment.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista also announced during the event that more than US$6 million have now been raised to fund the feasibility study for the development of other railway projects such as the Panay Railway and North Long Haul Inter-regional Railway to connect Ilocos and Cagayan with the National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila.
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