The Metro Manila Subway Project Details

What are the opportunities for suppliers, contractors and consultants

The main proponent of the Metro Manila Subway Project is the Department of Transportation of the Republic of the Philippines. The details of this article were taken first hand from JICA and DOT.

Can you imagine how many heavy equipment, machinery, power generators, air-conditioners and chillers, building material and escalators this project will entail? Not only the construction and engineering companies will benefit from this massive infrastructure project, but the real estate as well.

Metro Manila Tube

Today it is a Tube, Maybe a Hyperloop in the future.

The Metro Manila Tube or Subway Line 9, formerly referred to as the Mega Manila Subway (Metro Manila Underground Train), is an underground rapid transit line currently under construction in Metro Manila, Philippines. The 28.3-kilometer line, which will run north–south between the cities of Quezon City, Pasig, Makati, Taguig and Parañaque, will serve thirteen stations between the Quirino Highway and FTI stations. It will also serve as the country’s first direct airport rail link, with a branch line to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The line is designed to connect with the other urban rail transit services in the region, including Line 1, Line 3, and Line 7 at the North Avenue Common station which is also currently under construction; the planned Line 8 (PNR East-West Railway); the existing Line 2; the planned Line 5 (Makati Subway); and the existing Metro Commuter Line of the Philippine National Railways.

Metro Manila Subway. Source DOTr

Construction began on February 27, 2019, and is expected to finish by 2025. It is to be numbered Line 9 on future Manila Metro maps. The project is expected to cost PHP227 billion (US$4.5 billion as of 2017), to be included in the national budget in the following years. It is expected be the most expensive transport project to be undertaken by the Duterte administration. The government of Japan has expressed willingness to help in covering the expenses of the subway, and the first part of a 104.5 billion yen loan was signed by Japan.

The Proposed Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP)

The Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) is the first ever subway project in Metro Manila that will connect North Caloocan or Meycauayan in Bulacan and Dasmariñas in Cavite through the National Capital Region. This is a project proposed by the Department of Transportation or DOTr.

Metro Manila Subway. Source DOTr


The proposed route of the MMSP Phase I or the Central Zone starts at Mindanao Avenue – Quirino Highway in Quezon City and ends in FTI, Taguig City, with a proposed depot in Brgy. Ugong, Valenzuela City.

There will be 13 underground stations traversing six cities in NCR namely: Valenzuela City (for the depot),Quezon City, Pasig City, Makati City, Taguig City and a small portion of Parañaque City. The Depot for trains covers about 28.8 hectares of land area above ground.


Length 28.3 kilometer (km)
Tunnel Structure Double Tube Single Track (Standard diameter: 6.8 meters)
Travel Time (Mindanao Ave. – FTI) 31 min 5 sec (Express), 42 min 20 sec (Local)
Scheduled Speed 4 8.5 km/h (Express), 35.6 km/h (Local)
Gauge 1,435 mm (Standard gauge)
Number of Stations 13 (Underground)
Station Platform Length 210 meters
Depot for Trains 1 site (25.5 hectares, aboveground)
No. of Passengers: Year 2025: 365,000/ day
Year 2030: 669,000/ day
Year 2035: 973,000/ day
Metro Manila Subway. Source DOTr
Metro Manila Subway. Source DOTr
Metro Manila Subway. Source DOTr


Tentative Station Name
Local Government Unit (LGU)
1 Mindanao Avenue – Quirino Highway Quezon City
2 Tandang Sora Quezon City
3 North Avenue Quezon City
4 Quezon Avenue Quezon City
5 East Avenue Quezon City
6 Anonas Quezon City
7 Katipunan Quezon City
8 Ortigas North Pasig City
9 Ortigas South Pasig City
Makati: Traverse within the city
10 Kalayaan Avenue Taguig City
11 Bonifacio Global City (BGC) Taguig City
12 Cayetano Boulevard Taguig City
13 FTI Taguig City
Paranaque: Traverse within the city
Alignment of the MMSP Central Zone


Metro Manila Subway Project is a project proposed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the primary government agency that provides the policy, planning, implementation, promotion, development and regulation of the country’s network of transportation.

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Study was commissioned through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).


  • Eases traffic congestion in EDSA and expansion of transport network eastward
  • Reliable, safe and comfortable transportation for commuters using cutting-edge technology
  • Encourages more socio-economic activities and balanced urban development in nearby station areas
  • Provides better connectivity via a north-south backbone for the Greater Capital Region
Read more  Hyperloop To Become A Reality


Designing the MMSP: Options Considered


Three route alternatives for Metro Manila Subway Project were studied in the planning stage:

  • Option 1: EDSA Route
  • Option 2: Greenhills Route
  • Option 3: Katipunan Route

Route options were evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Estimated project cost
  • Flood risk
  • Demand forecast
  • Earthquake risk
  • Fare revenue
  • Required project area
  • Economic loss due to traffic jams
  • Estimated Project
  • Affected Persons
  • Connectivity with CentralBusiness Districts (CBDs)
  • Noise and vibration
  • Intermodal connectivity

After evaluation of the JICA Study Team and discussions among relevant organizations including DOTr, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and Philippine Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), Option 3 was evaluated to achieve most of the objectives and was selected.


Two candidate sites of the depot location, one in Mindanao Avenue in Valenzuela City, and one in General Luis in Caloocan City, were studied in the planning stage. Mindanao Avenue was selected based on discussions among the relevant organizations in the same manner as the route alternatives.

The following criteria were used in the selection of depot location:

  • Construction cost
  • Existing and planned land use
  • Number of affected structures
  • Flood risk
  • Land acquisition area and cost
Metro Manila Subway. Source DOTr
Metro Manila Subway. Source DOTr


For the underground structure, two methods of construction were compared: (1) cut & cover methods, in which excavation starts on the ground level and forms spaces from there down, and (2) the non-cut & cover methods, which includes the shield tunneling method and the New Australian Tunneling Method (NATM), both of which involve an excavation machine that goes through the earth to form spaces.

For stations, the cut and cover method was selected based on cost, construction period, and social and environmental considerations. For the excavation method between stations or along the project line, the non-cut & cover tunneling method, specifically the “shielded tunneling method”, is recommended, based on the same evaluation criteria used for the construction at the station sections.

Excavation method will be finalized in the Detailed Engineering Design Phase based on the results of geotechnical survey.

Shield Tunneling Method. Source DOTr


For the tunnel structures, Double Tube Single Track (DTST) and Single Tube Double Track (STDT) were compared in the tunnel structure plan with respect to construction cost, construction period, occupying width of platform and ventilation requirements. DTST was found more favorable to a shielded tunnel in the line.

Metro Manila Subway. Source DOTr


Metro Manila Subway Project is estimated to start operation by 2025.

  • Detailed engineering design phase (2018 to 2020)
  • Land acquisition and resettlement (2018 to 2020)
  • Construction(2020 to 2025)
Metro Manila Subway. Source DOTr

Assessing and Minimizing Impacts


The environmental impacts of the Metro Manila Subway Project were studied for the different phases of the project:

  • Pre-construction Impacts, which refers to changes to the existing environment resulting from clearing of construction sites and land acquisition
  • Construction Impacts, which refer to shortterm potential impacts directly during construction
  • Operational Impacts, which describe longterm effects from the operation and maintenance of the subway.

The project will avoid or find ways of lessening permanent impacts wherever possible, and plans will be made to minimize the disruption caused by temporary impacts.

A summary of the major environmental impacts is provided in the following table.

Activities that may cause impacts Potential Impacts
Impacts on Natural Environment  
Generation of demolition and construction wastes Soil pollution
Earthwork activities (tunneling, excavation, backfilling and stockpiling) Soil erosion, slope failures, landslides and ground subsidence
Leaks and accidental spills on soil Soil contamination
Generation of excavated soil (approximately 4.4M m3 ) from excavation/ tunneling – Increased siltation of water bodies

– Aesthetic impacts

Generation of solid wastes from the construction workforce – Land and water contamination

– Aesthetic impacts

– Spread of diseases

Liquefaction Damage to underground structures and overlying structures in the event of an earthquake
Ground shaking/ground rupture Damage to components of the construction work
Clearing and excavation activities Increase in suspended sediments in the receiving water
Clearing and excavation activities Flooding and inundation due to clogged waterways because of construction debris
Excavation works Lowering of groundwater level due to inflow of groundwater into underground tunnel
Generation of dusts and particulates from earthmoving, demolition and stockpiling Temporary increase of dusts
Emission from vehicles and gensets Temporary increase of air pollutant emissions
Movement and operation of construction machinery Increase noise level and ground vibration during construction
Clearing and removal of trees Loss of threatened and other tree species within the project site
Impacts on People
Involuntary Resettlement Displacement of residents, commercial and industrial establishments along the proposed alignment
Land use and utilization of local resources Potential conflict with other government infrastructure projects (e.g. DPWH’s C6 Project)
Activities that may cause impacts Potential Impacts
Service utilities Service utilities interruption
Employment/ Livelihood – Temporary disturbance of commercial establishments

– Decline or eventual loss of businesses in affected areas

– Generation of temporary employment

Traffic condition Increase in traffic congestion; Threat to availability of health services
Health and safety Increased risk of accidents due to improper work ethics which may threaten health and safety of workers and local residents.


Activities that may cause impacts Potential Impacts
Impacts on Natural Environment
Leaks and accidental spills of chemicals, especially at the depot area Soil contamination
Solid waste generation – Land and water contamination

– Aesthetic impacts

– Spread of diseases

Geological hazards (liquefaction, Ground shaking/ground rupture) Damage to underground structures and overlying structures
Domestic wastewater generation Pollution of receiving water bodies
Maintenance and repair activities in the depot Pollution of receiving water body, specifically Tullahan River
Heavy rainfall Flooding and inundation of subway facilities
Changes in groundwater flow Ground subsidence due to lowering of groundwater level
Operation of service vehicles and standby generator set Air Pollution
Increase in air pollutants from increased vehicles along stations Air Pollution
Generation of low frequency noise from structure-borne noise and ground vibration May cause mental stress to residence
Climate change – Accelerated structural fatigue and materials failure

– Greater demands on the construction, operation and maintenance of flood control and drainage structures

– Increase Greenhouse Gas emissions due to increased demand for cooling system of passenger cars, building offices and ticket booths

Climate change Indirect impact -Increased vulnerability of passengers to spread of communicable disease via a mass transportation system
Employment and livelihood – Enhanced commuters mobility

– Better physical and psychological state of commuters resulting from shorter and more comfortable travel time

– Increase economic activity around the stations

– Employment of skilled personnel to operate and maintain the railway system

Traffic Condition – Easement of traffic congestion

– Increased vehicular flow in areas adjacent to stations

Health and safety Risk of accidents due to improper work ethics

Engaging Stakeholders in Public Dialogue

A core part of the Metro Manila Subway Project environmental impact assessment is the consultation with the people who will be directly and indirectly affected by the project during construction and operation, such as people who will use the subway, live or own businesses/structures near the alignment. Relevant government agencies such as DENR, DPWH, MMDA, BCDA, PHIVOLCS, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor, specific barangays and local government departments were involved in the consultation meetings.

Stakeholders’ consultation meetings and public scoping were conducted for the six (6) cities along the Metro Manila Subway Project alignment from March to August 2017. The public consultation has allowed the proponent to give the community a better understanding of the planning of the Project and site-specific factors and constraints that have to be taken into account of in selecting the preferred alignment and design of the Project.

Commitments to Mitigate Negative Impacts

As part of the Environmental Impact Assessment Process, DOTr and the JICA Study Team worked closely together with key stakeholders to address issues and develop workable solutions.

DOTr shall submit the necessary requirements to obtain an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the Environmental Management Bureau Central Office of the DENR. DOTr is committed to implement an Environmental Management and Monitoring Plan in order to mitigate the major environmental impacts of the project from preconstruction to operation stages.

DOTr shall also implement a Resettlement Action Plan in accordance to the law to ensure that affected households and establishments are provided a proper relocation area and/or justly compensated.


For more details about the project, visit DOTr and JICA


Engr. Amy Aguirre
Mechanical Engineer, fashion model & GineersNow TV host. Speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese fluently. Based in Melbourne and Manila. Follow me on Linkedin

Comments 8

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Iyan ang aking pinaplano ngayon.

    Engr. Edward Albert Bañaga
    NCR – National Capital Region, Philippines

  2. Ang ganda ng project na yan. Dito sa Qatar, meron kaming metro pero elevated.

    Enge Ardan Hassan
    Design Engineer
    Harsco Qatar

  3. Dapat siguro elevated metro ang ginawa tulad ng Dubai Metro. Mas mabilis matapos.

    Jaber Sanggacala, RCE
    Quantity Surveyor at Brookfield Multiplex
    United Arab Emirates

  4. Paano kaya kung bumuhos ang ulan ng isang linggo? Maganda dapat ang pumps at dewatering nila jan.

    Engr. Ryan Tolentino
    PROJECTS MANAGER at CEG International
    Region XIII – Caraga, Philippines

  5. Daming trabaho ah.

    Engr. Alvin Deliro
    Civil Engineer,Master Plumber/Plumbing Engineer,Master Electrician, DPWH Accredited Materials Engr.,College Instructor
    Region IVA – Calabarzon, Philippines

  6. Buti na lang nabaso ko ito. Ayus talaga. Tnx Gineers

    Joseph Abejuela
    Civil Engr., MBA, Real Estate Broker, DPWH-Accredited Materials Engr., Accredited Dispenser of Fertilizer and Pesticides
    NCR – National Capital Region, Philippines

  7. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas. Miss ko na Pinas

    Engr. Rachel Marie Novelo
    Fire Testing Engineer at Thomas Bell-Wright International Consultants
    United Arab Emirates

  8. This should have been an elevatad metro. Mas mabilis ang elevated matapos. Magastos ang underground.

    Engr. Sainola Candidato, PMP®
    Civil engineer

The Metro Manila Subway Project Details

Send this to a friend