MANILA – Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is urging government to develop a better light rail system in Metro Manila before pursuing plans to build a subway system.
MPIC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said that while the firm supports government’s plans to build a subway, an efficient light rail system is easier to build and costs less.
“Our view there is that let’s build a viable light rail system within the city, and then a subway will be the next step. It’s going to be extremely expensive,” he said.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) earlier said it is planning to pursue a P370 billion Mass Transit System Loop project that will include an underground subway route connecting Bonifacio Global City, the Makati Central Business District, and the Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City.
The project aims to address the high volume of vehicular traffic traversing the roads to and from these areas.
Pangilinan, however, believes that government should prioritize the expansion of the existing light rail system before moving on to a “heavier system.”
“Let’s exhaust all possibilities of a light rail system in the city, and then Stage 2 is the subway. It’s heavier in scope, it’s a heavier system, and it can carry more passengers. I think eventually the Philippines should have a subway system. It’s just a question of timing,” he said.
MPIC, together with partner Ayala Corp., bagged late last year the P65 billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) extension project.
The project involves the expansion of the existing LRT-1 line to Bacoor, Cavite from Baclaran in Pasay City.
MPIC and Ayala Corp. are also vying for the contract to operate and maintain the LRT-2.