MANILA - The Philippine capital's first ever subway is "on track," with the groundbreaking scheduled in the fourth quarter of 2018, the Department of Transportation said Wednesday.
The DOTr said it was issuing a clarification after a Kyodo News article published by ABS-CBN News said the Japan-funded project could be delayed to December 2018. The article from the Japanese news agency quoted an official from the National Economic and Development Authority.
"The Metro Manila Subway Project is ON TRACK," the department said in a statement.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade negotiated with Japanese officials to have a segment of the subway completed by the second quarter of 2022, in advance of the full completion in 2025, according to the statement.
The DOTr said the Philippines and Japan would exchange notes on the project during the ASEAN Summit in Manila this month, with the signing of a loan agreement set in January.
After which, officials will prepare the design of the subway, acquire right-of-way and bid out construction and supply packages before the groundbreaking "scheduled in the 4th quarter of 2018," the department said.
"All activities leading to this are on track," it said.