DOTr: Only 55% of right-of-way acquired for Metro Manila Subway

DOTr: Only 55% of right-of-way acquired for Metro Manila Subway

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 05:48 AM March 08, 2024

PHOTO: Secretary JaimeBautista inspects the Metro Manila Subway Project STORY: DOTr: Only 55% of right-of-way acquired for Metro Manila Subway

SUCH A ‘BORING’ JOB | Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista inspects the Metro Manila Subway Project, particularly its future North Avenue Station in Quezon City, on Thursday, March 7, 2024. Excavation works at this spot using a tunnel boring machine start this month and are expected to take 12 months to reach the Tandang Sora Station. (Photo by GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — With only 55 percent of the right-of-way secured for the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP), the government will resort only to expropriation of property as a “last resort,” according to Department of Transportation (DOTr) officials.

“We’re on top of these; we are expecting we should be able to resolve all these right-of-way issues in due time,” Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista said on Thursday in a press briefing after he and other officials inspected a tunnel boring machine at the MMSP’s North Avenue Station in Quezon City.


He was optimistic, however, that they would be able to meet the project’s targeted completion date of 2029. He was joined by Transport Undersecretary for Railways Jeremy Regino, who told reporters that the government’s expropriation power would be used only in case of an impasse with property owners affected by the project.


“We have now shortened the negotiation process. If there will be no agreement, we will have to file expropriation proceedings but without prejudice to continue with the negotiations,” Regino said. Expropriation is not forced occupation but “just compensation,” he added, saying that once the government is granted a writ of possession, “it does not bar the continuation and conclusion of a successful negotiation.”

“We are doing our best to convince property owners, all things considered, that their concerns are already factored in,” Regino said.

READ: DOTr to secure 3rd tranche of funding for Metro Manila Subway Project 

According to Bautista, some homeowners are still contesting the passage of the subway under their properties. Negotiations are also ongoing for affected buildings classified as important cultural properties under the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, including one owned by the Department of Education. 3 contracts remaining

Once the right-of-way issues are settled, the DOTr secretary said they would award by the third quarter of this year the remaining three contracts for the Metro Subway project, which cover the segments between stations on Kalayaan Avenue in Makati City; Bonifacio Global City, Lawton Avenue, and Senate-DepEd in Taguig City; and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 3 in Pasay City.

“We need to make sure we will get the right-of-way. It will be a problem when we enter into a contract with a contractor [while] we still have right-of-way issues. [The contractor] might not be able to start on time,” Bautista stressed. Mikaela Eloisa Mendoza, supervising transport development officer and project manager at the DOTr’s Rail Unified Project Management Office, said the MMSP’s progress rate was currently at around 40 percent overall and only 11 percent in construction work.


The first underground railway in the country, the Metro Manila subway, is a 33-kilometer railway system connecting Valenzuela City to Pasay City with a spur line at the Naia Terminal 3.

Once operational, it is expected to reduce travel time from Valenzuela to Naia from one hour and 30 minutes to just 35 minutes, servicing some 519,000 passengers daily.

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TAGS: Department of Transporation, Metro Manila subway project, right of way

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