Bulacan-Cavite subway system pushed

By Lorenz S. Marasigan, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jun 23 2014 07:30 AM | Updated as of Jun 23 2014 03:30 PM

MANILA - The transportation agency is mulling over the construction of a subway system that would run from Bulacan to Cavite to ease the worsening traffic congestion in the metropolis.

The plan is part of the P2.3-trillion transportation master plan of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya revealed.

He explained that the plan is to build a subway from San Jose del Monte in Bulacan to Dasmariñas
in Cavite.

“It is part of the Jica study on the Mega Manila Transport Plan. There is no actual feasibility study [FS] yet for this, and we will request Jica to do an FS,” he said in a text message, failing to respond to further queries.

Jica earlier said the country needs to spend at least P2.3 trillion to upgrade the Philippines’s transportation system. The proposed budget, which is allocated to roughly 100 transport projects, is seen to be spent between 2016 and 2030.

Aside from the planned subway system, the agency also proposes to curb the worsening traffic in Metro Manila through the expansion of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT 1), which is a 20-kilometer railway system that runs from Monumento in the north to Baclaran in the south.

On Thursdaythe National Eco-nomic and Development Authority Board approved the lone bid of the tandem of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp., removing a key roadblock to the P65-billion LRT 1 Cavite Extension deal’s awarding.

The Light Rail Manila Consortium submitted a P9.35-billion premium on top of the project cost to win the contract. Only the said bidder submitted an offer after investors were spooked by the risks that the deal poses.

The multibillion-peso contract provides for the extension of the current line to Bacoor in Cavite; but the government is also looking at expanding the system up to Dasmariñas.

Jica is currently conducting a full-blown feasibility study for the Dasmarinas extension project.

The Japanese consultant projects that daily traffic costs may be reduced by as much as 41.35 percent in Metro Manila and by 15.2 percent in the areas of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal in the next 16 years should the transport master plan come into being.