The Department of Transportation has started the site clearing works in preparation for the construction of phase 1-partial operability section of the P357-billion Metro Manila subway project.
The partial operability section comprises the first stations in Valenzuela City and Quezon City, the line’s depot in Valenzuela City and buildings for the Philippine Railway Institute (PRI), the country’s first ever railway training center.
A ceremony to formalize the start of the subway’s construction was held at the depot site in Barangay Ugong in Valenzuela City on Saturday, December 21. The depot site is also where the subway line’s East Valenzuela Station will be located.
Part of the ceremony was the distribution of checks and the signing of deeds of absolute sale with project-affected landowners.
Arthur Tugade, DOTr secretary, noted the progress in the right-of-way acquisition both in terms of acquiring land from legal owners and relocation of informal settler families.
A total of 460 lots are required for the partial operability section of the subway, out of which 364 offers to buy have been issued based on current market value appraised by the Land Bank of the Philippines.
Owners of 285 lots out of the 364 lots have accepted or are already completing documentation requirements for selling their properties to the government for the project.
As for informal settler families, 178 out of 183 affected families have been resettled to Disiplina Village in Barangay Bignay, Valenzuela City.
Following the official transfer of the properties from the landowners to the DOTr, contractors then started the clearing and fencing of portions of the depot.
Dubbed as the “Project of the Century,” the underground rail line is expected to serve 370,000 passengers daily in its first year of full operations, and is targeted to be partially operable by 2021.
Once completed and fully operational, the Metro Manila Subway Project will have a total of 15 stations, including a terminal station at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.