MANILA -- The construction of the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) is on track, with the groundbreaking set by fourth quarter of 2018, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said. 

In a statement, the DOTr reiterated that it is on track with the implementation of the subway system and targets to start a segment of the subway's operations before the end of the Duterte administration in 2022.

"The Metro Manila Subway Project is ON TRACK," the department said.

Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade has negotiated with the Japanese government to pursue the completion of a segment of the MMSP by the second quarter of 2022 instead of the original completion date for the entire system in 2025.

The Philippine and Japanese government will exchange notes during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit this month and sign a loan agreement in January 2018.

Officials will prepare the design of the subway, acquire right-of-way, and bid out construction and supply packages before the groundbreaking.

The PHP355.6 billion project will have fourteen stations from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City up to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The subway system is envisioned to be an underground mass transportation system connecting major business districts and government centers which is expected to serve 370,000 passengers daily in its opening year.

The following phases of the subway project would involve extending lines up to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan north of Metro Manila and up to Dasmarinas, Cavite south of Metro Manila.  (PNA)