The Department of Transportation (DOTr) in the Philippines has awarded a design-build contract to construct the first three stations of Metro Manila subway.

The contract was secured by a consortium of Japanese and Filipino firms comprising Shimizu, Fujita, Takenaka Civil Engineering and EEI.

Under the contract, the Shimizu-led consortium will build stations at Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora and North Avenue.

In a statement, the DOTr said: “The Shimizu Joint Venture will be pursuing the design and build of the Subway’s partial operability section, which consists of its first three underground stations (Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora and North Avenue), tunnel structures, the Valenzuela Depot, and the building and facilities for the Philippine Railway Institute.”

“The Metro Manila subway system will comprise 15 stations from Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.”

Overall, the Metro Manila subway system will comprise 15 stations from Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque City.

The subway system, which is expected to alleviate traffic congestion in the region, is expected to commence full operations by 2025.

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Once fully operational, the 36km-long system is expected to serve up to 1.5 million passengers per day.

DOTr intends to start partial operations on the line from 2022.

Last week, DOTr officials inspected the Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM), which will be used for the construction. The machines were procured from Japan.

In March last year, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed an official development assistance (ODA) loan of up to JPY104.53bn ($985m) for the first phase of the Metro Manila Subway project.