VIRTUAL UNVEILING. Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade during the virtual unveiling of one of several tunnel boring machines purchased to construct the Metro Manila Subway on Friday (Sept. 4, 2020). Tugade assured that the project is designed to withstand the frequent floods experienced in Metro Manila. (Screenshot of DOTr video

MANILA – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday said the Metro Manila Subway is designed to endure against flooding and assured that the project's contractor has experience in dealing with such an issue.

During the virtual unveiling of a tunnel boring machine (TBM) for the subway, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said one of the Japanese contractors of the project, JIM Technology Corporation (JIMT), has experience in constructing subways in areas prone to flooding.

“The technology of our Japanese construction partners is the assurance; their experience is the assurance. The perennial flooding has been considered very strongly in formulating the details of the first Manila subway station,” Tugade said.

He noted that the ground conditions in Japan, where JIMT has previously helped in the construction of a subway, is worse compared to the Philippines as the tunnels were burrowed below sea-level.

“The subways in Japan are never flooded and they are using that technology. And that is the same technology we are using,” Tugade said.

Azukizawa Eigo, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) chief representative, said the other consultants of the project is the joint venture of Shimizu-Fujita-Takenaka-EEI.

Economic impact

During its construction, he said the project will have a major economic impact through the direct and indirect employment of construction workers and other personnel.

Kagaya ng sinabi ng embahada ng Hapon, matindi ang employment generation nito (Like what the Japanese ambassador said, this project has great potential for employment generation). Translated into actual numbers, 9,000 direct employment, 40,000 to 50,000 indirect employment,” Tugade said.

He said a portion of the project, from Valenzuela station to the North Avenue station, will be partially operational by December 2021, while the rest of the project will be completed by 2024 or 2025.

Tunnel Boring Machines

DOTr Undersecretary Timothy “TJ” Batan said the TBM unveiled in the event was only one of six TBMs being manufactured by JIMT in its factory in Tsurumi, Japan.

“Measuring 6.99-meters in diameter and 95-meters in length, each of these 700-ton TBMs will be used for the partial operability section of the project from Barangay Ugong in Valenzuela City to North Ave. in Quezon City,” Batan said.

He said each TBM is capable of laying down 12 meters of tunnel segments per day, in addition to excavating up to 600 cubic meters of soil in the same time frame.

Once complete, he said the 34-kilometer Metro Manila Subway Project will have a total of 17 stations, stretching from Valenzuela to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 and FTI. (PNA