MANILA – The development of the Metro Manila Subway has reached another milestone on Friday after the signing of a right-of-way usage agreement between the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of National Defense (DND).

During the signing ceremony, DOTr Undersecretary Timothy John Batan said the agreement allows for accelerated access to construction and work sites need for the subway and give both the DND and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) “fair and recurring” resources from the project.

SIGNING. Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (left) and Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade sign a right-of-way usage agreement for the construction of the Metro Manila Subway on Friday. The agreement allows for accelerated construction of the subway in return for short and long-term benefits for the DND and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (Photo courtesy of DOTr)

“In the short term, DOTr will replicate affected DND-AFP structures and facilities, including the construction of 192 units of armed forces housing in Camp Aguinaldo, and the replication and improvement of affected facilities of the Veterans Golf Course,” Batan said.

In addition, he said the DOTr will pay the DND-AFP with a recurring annual usufruct fee of “10 percent of latest zonal value and 5 percent of gross non-farebox revenues of the concerned subway stations.”

Five subway stations are involved in the agreement, namely the North Avenue Station, East Avenue Station, Camp Aguinaldo Station, Lawton Station, and the Senate-DepEd Station.

Five DND-AFP camps and facilities will also be affected by the accelerated construction of the Metro Manila subway. These are the Veterans Memorial Medical Center and Golf Course, the AFP Medical Center (formerly known as the V. Luna Hospital), Camp Aguinaldo, Fort Bonifacio, and Villamor Air Base.

“The Subway is developed in a manner that maximizes connectivity to government properties, but para na din po masigurado na ang investment natin sa kauna-unahan nating Subway ay may balik at pakinabang sa ating kasundaluhan (to ensure that our investment with our very first subway will benefit our armed forces),” Batan said.

In total, he said the agreement includes 50,000 square meters of land for station works, 60,000 square meters for interstation tunneling, and 55,000 square meters for temporary works.

The implementation of the first phase of the Metro Manila Subway, spanning 36-kilometers with 17 stations from Valenzuela to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3, is divided into two sections—partial operability and remaining operability.

An artist's rendering of a Metro Manila Subway station (Image courtesy of DOTr)

The partial operability section, which includes the Subway depot, East Valenzuela Station, Quirino Highway Station, Tandang Sora Station, and North Avenue Station, begun construction in 2019 and is set for operation in 2022.

The remaining operability section, which includes the Quezon Avenue Station to Bicutan Station and NAIA Terminal 3 Station, is set to begin construction in 2021 and is scheduled for operation in 2026. (PNA)