MANILA, Philippines - Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) would prefer the government develop the light rail system, instead of the more expensive subway system.
"Our view there, frankly 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," MPIC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is pushing for the Mass Transit System Loop project that would connect Bonifacio Global City to Makati central business district and Mall of Asia area in Pasay.
The estimated cost for the 12-kilometer subway is P370 billion, making it the Philippine government's most expensive PPP project.
Pangilian isn't too impressed with the DOTC's plans for a subway, noting it should first focus on expanding the elevated MRT and LRT systems.
"Let’s exhaust all possibilities of a light rail system in the city, and then stage 2, 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.
The DOTC is hoping the NEDA Board, chaired by President Aquino, will approve the proposed subway system within the year.
Manila's first subway is proposed to run from Market Market and St. Luke's hospital in The Fort, to the EDSA-MRT stations on Buendia and Ayala, to Ayala Triangle, the Makati post office and the PNR station on Buendia, then to the LRT-1 station on Buendia and Taft, then across Roxas Boulevard to the World Trade Center and SM Mall of Asia, then back to the EDSA-MRT station on Taft.
MPIC has teamed up with Ayala Corp. to bid for rail projects in the country. The Light Rail Manila Consortium has already won the P65 billion contract to extend the LRT-1 to Bacoor, Cavite from Baclaran in Pasay City.