By Jel Santos
The tunnel boring machine that will be used for the construction the $3.5-billion or P178-billion Makati Subway project is expected to arrive by December this year, Mayor Abigail Binay disclosed during the signing of the Joint Venture Agreement with Philippine Infradev Holdings, Inc. on Tuesday.
On July 19, the Makati City Council approved the public-private partnership project (PPP) to construct, operate, and manage the intra-city subway. It is expected to be operational by 2025, and generate around 10, 000 jobs.
“Hopefully, the tunnel boring machine will arrive by December this year. The tunnel boring machine is the technology that we will use to ensure that the project will be completed on time. So, it is new technology that we will be using to build the subway,” she said.
Antonio Tiu, president and CEO of Infradev, said that the tunnel boring machine is coming from China, and is expected to arrive by December 2019.
He said that their Chinese partner, Infradev Chairman Jinhua Ren, is the owner of the biggest ship building company in China.
Ren, he said, is also “the investor of one of the longest bridges in China under the Jiangsu province.”
The mayor said that they will hire persons-with-disabilities (PWDs) and senior citizens who are still capable to work.
“Expected jobs will be around 10,000, and we’re not just talking about construction wise but down the line. So, part of my campaign promise is to ask the company that will run the subway station that they hire our PWDs and senior citizens who are able-bodied,” Binay said.
Meanwhile, she said that they will just hire some consultants from China and some technical personnel just to operate the tunnel boring machine, saying there will only be a few of them.
Yesterday, Mayor Binay and Infradev Chairman Ren signed the historic Joint Venture Agreement for the subway project.
Infradev disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange that it submitted to the Makati Government a $350-million performance bond for the project, which was a pre-condition for the signing of the joint venture agreement with the city.
So far, the Makati City Subway or MkTr is the biggest PPP project for a local government unit.
It can be recalled that Tiu recently announced the completion of a six-month soil testing along the proposed alignment of the 10-kilometer intracity subway system with no adverse findings.
The subway, according to Binay, would connect key points in Makati like the current Central Business District at the corner of Ayala and Sen. Gil Puyat Avenues, Circuit City, Makati City Hall, University of Makati, Ospital ng Makati and other new growth areas within the city.
It will have around 10 air-conditioned, underground island stations, accommodating more than six car trains, with room for over 200 persons per car, with more than 700,000 passengers to be served per day.