Cost of PH’s first subway system may go up: NEDA chief

MANILA -- The USD 4.4-billion subway system for Metro Manila, targeted for full completion before President Rodrigo Duterte's term ends in 2022, may require cost adjustment, the country's chief economist said.

National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto Pernia told reporters Friday the project cost of the Mega Manila Subway is not totally complete.

The cost may increase because the DOTr (Department of Transportation) wants to accelerate the completion from 2024 to 2022 which means that there will be more borers for the tunneling needed, therefore, the cost will go up, he said.

Pernia said the project cost could probably reach USD 6 billion or USD 7 billion, but noting we don't know the exact number (yet).

The project's feasibility study was conducted with the help of a grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

President Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were set to sign an agreement for the construction of the subway project on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in November.

The PHP227-billion Mega Manila Subway, from Quezon City to Taguig City, is a 25-kilometer underground mass transportation system connecting major business districts and government centers.

It is expected to serve around 370,000 passengers per day in its opening year.

Source: Philippine News Agency