MANILA, Nov 4 (Mabuhay) — President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. believes that the government owes it to the Filipino people to build major roads and critical infrastructure that will spur progress and social change, promote interconnectivity, ease traffic and reduce travel time.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. leads the ceremonial signing of two contracts that will finance the civil works of four stations of the Metro Manila Subway-Contract Packages 102 (CP102) and 103 (CP103) in Malacanang. (MNS photo)

He made this remark after he witnessed on Thursday the signing of two contracts that will finance the civil works of four stations of the Metro Manila Subway-Contract Packages 102 (CP102) and 103 (CP103).

In his speech after the signing of the contracts, Marcos assured the public, particularly commuters, that the government will strive to provide a more efficient public transportation system in the country.

“We owe it to the Filipino people to build major roads and critical infrastructure that will not only spur progress and social change, but also promote interconnectivity, ease traffic, and reduce travel time,” Marcos said.

“Let me assure you that the government remains dedicated to maximizing its resources to pursue even more ambitious endeavors that will bring comfort and progress to Filipinos all over the country,” he added.

He also urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to ensure the smooth and faithful implementation of all subway projects that are underway.

“The signing of these contract packages is a clear demonstration of this administration’s commitment to pursuing big infrastructure projects that will foster growth and revitalize the economy,” Marcos said.

Meanwhile, Marcos thanked Japan for partnering with the Philippines in pursuing what he described as an “important infrastructure development project.”

“The world recognizes Japan for having a very efficient rail transport system, which the Philippines aspires to one day emulate,” Marcos told guests at the Malacañang Palace.

He also expressed gratitude to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for providing financial support for the implementation of CP102 and CP103.

“I thank you not only for this specific project, I thank the JICA who have been supporting the development of the Philippines for the last 50 years. Especially in terms of our infrastructure projects and even our agricultural projects,” he said.

He also acknowledged the Nishimatsu-DMCI Joint Venture and Sumitomo Mitsui Construction for working closely with the Philippines in ensuring the completion of these contract packages.

CP102, with a total contract amount of approximately PHP21 billion, was awarded to the joint venture of Nishimatsu Construction Co., Ltd. and D.M. Consunji Inc (DMCI), while CP103 with a total contract amount of approximately PHP28 billion was awarded to Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co., Ltd.

CP102 involves the construction of the Quezon Avenue Station (located inside the former Manila Seedling Bank, EDSA corner Quezon Avenue) and the East Avenue Station (along V. Luna Avenue), including the connecting tunnels.

CP103 involves constructing Anonas Station (at Barangay Project 4, Quezon City) and Camp Aguinaldo Station (inside Camp Aguinaldo), including the connecting tunnels. The Anonas subway station will interconnect with Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) Anonas Station.

Jobs and other opportunities

Meanwhile, Marcos said he is optimistic that the subway projects will not only ease the flow of people, goods, and services in Metro Manila but also generate jobs and opportunities for Filipinos.

“Even before it begins its operations, it is already set to yield many fruits—the implementation of the civil works for Contract Package 102 and Contract Package 103 alone is set to create thousands of jobs and opportunities for many Filipinos,” Marcos said.

Once operational, the project is expected to benefit more than half a million passengers per day from as far north as Valenzuela City to as far south as Parañaque City.

“We hope to reduce the terrible sight of going home at midnight along EDSA and still seeing people waiting to take the bus,” he said.

The project is also expected to reduce travel time between Quezon City and Pasay from one hour and 30 minutes to just 35 minutes.

“That is the advantage of what the subway will bring. They know that they can always go to the subway station and there will be a train coming along in a few minutes. The cut in travel time is also very important but still it is to reduce the uncertainty as to when we will get home. We will reduce the terrible stories that we hear of people who no longer see their children because they come home 1:30 in the morning and the children as asleep. They have to wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning to get back on the bus to fight with the traffic coming back to work. The subway and all our public transport systems will be able to help and remedy so the quality of life in the city should improve significantly,” he added. (MNS)