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First PH subway should be ‘future-proof’ – Poe

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The ambitious plan of the Duterte administration to build a Mega Manila Subway should be “future-proof,” Sen. Grace Poe said Thursday stressing that it should not only be sturdy but also have room for expansion to accommodate the growing population in the metro.

Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, welcomed the multi-million project noting that it would help ease traffic in the congested metro but at the same time warned the government from entering into disadvantageous contracts such as the EDSA MRT-3.

She said that the subway design should complement road transport design above ground, and should take into account the accessibility and walkability of each station’s stop with that of other public transportation.

“We have to invest now, build now, but not without exercising caution. Having a reliable public transportation system, especially railway, will not only spell public convenience but also contribute to economic growth,” Poe said.

“This is a legacy project, one that can determine the forward trajectory of economic development in the country,” she added.

She further pointed out that millions of jobs can also be created following a seamless transport system in Metro Manila.

“We should ensure that we deal with reputable companies and that we get the best deal for the operations and maintenance of the project,” she added.

She acknowledged that the project was “costly” and the construction time will take “longer” but would definitely help decongest road traffic with less road disturbance to the above-ground environment.

The senator, meanwhile, vowed to keep a close eye on the implementation of the project. She said she would not hesitate to act or speak out with regard to any anomalous transaction.

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are expected to sign an agreement for the PHP 227-billion subway, which will connect Quezon City to Taguig, this year. Construction of the first leg of the Mega Manila subway is expected to be finished in 2024. (PNA)