Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos at the Contract Signing of the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) – Contract Package 102 and 103
Thank you very much, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin. [Please, will you take your seats?]
The Honorable Mori Masafumi, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan; the Transportation Secretary Jimmy Bautista; Senator JV Ejercito; Representative Franz Pumaren [Is he here? Oh, there!]; Representative Eric Martinez; the Embassy of Japan Chargé d’Affaires Matsuda Kenichi and other members of the Diplomatic Corps; of course, Quezon City Mayor Ma. Josefina G. Belmonte [Haba ng pangalan mo.] [laughter]; Senior Vice President of JICA Nakazawa Keiichiro; fellow workers in government; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
It is always when we have such events as we have just witnessed today, these are always significant days for all of us as we mark another milestone, another landmark, for the Metro Manila Subway Project and for the expansion of our public transport system, starting here in the National Capital Region but hopefully to extend to the other urban areas around the Philippines.
Today, we had seen the signing of the Metro Manila Subway Project with the signing of Contract Package 102 and Contract Package 103.
I am one with the Filipino people in anticipating the eventual realization of this extremely important flagship project which, once it is completed, will significantly reduce travel time between Quezon City and Pasay from 1 hour and 30 minutes to just 35 minutes.
We quote often just the travel time advantage that this will bring. But it is not only that. The volume of traffic that a subway or a railway can take as compared to a highway or a road is significantly higher because it is regular, there is no traffic, and it is scheduled, and so people can hope that it is a reliable… We hope to reduce the terrible sight of watching — of going home at midnight along EDSA and still seeing people waiting to take the bus. 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. That really for me — the cut of course 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 at 1:30 in the morning, and the children are 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. And that the subway and all our public transport systems will be able to help and to remedy. So the quality of life in the city should improve significantly.
It is also projected to benefit more than half a million passengers per day from as far north as Valenzuela to as far south as Parañaque — easing the flow of people, of goods, [and] of services around Metro Manila.
Once the MMSP is fully operational, we envision that millions of jobs, as well as opportunities, will also be created following this seamless transport system.
Yet, 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 are set to create thousands of jobs and opportunities for many Filipinos.
So let me extend my most sincere and fervent congratulations to everyone who made this monumental undertaking possible. Thank you for your hard work and thank you for taking us to this day today.
I thank the Government of Japan for partnering with the Philippines in pursuing this important infrastructure development project.
The world recognizes Japan for having a very efficient rail transport system, which the Philippines aspires to one day emulate.
We thank you for your continued support and I hope to further advance our cooperation in other areas for the mutual benefit of our peoples.
We are also thankful to the Japan International Cooperation Agency for providing the financial support for the implementation of Contract Package 102 and 103.
Similarly, we must acknowledge the Nishimatsu-DMCI Joint Venture and Sumitomo Mitsui Construction for working closely with the Philippine government in ensuring the completion of these contract packages.
And 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. And I do not believe, especially in terms of our infrastructure projects and even in our agricultural projects, that we would have come this far without the help of JICA along the way. And it has been instrumental, it has been material, and we have many possible future projects that may be in the pipeline. And for that, once again, we thank JICA for their assistance and their continuing interest in the Philippines.
We are honored to have you as our partners in making the Philippine transport operations more efficient, safer, and more reliable.
And the Department of Transportation has made possible the signing of these contract packages.
So I urge the DOTr, under the very capable hands of Secretary Jimmy, to remain steadfast in ensuring the smooth and faithful implementation of this extremely crucial undertaking.
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.
Apart from this, we are also pursuing other key railway projects, such as the MRT-7, the LRT-1 Cavite Extension, the Philippine National Railway Clark Phases 1 & 2 that will, in the future, make our rail transit system a more viable option for our commuters.
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.
With you as our partners, I am confident that we can move full speed ahead towards building better and more infrastructure projects for the Filipino people.
Let’s work together and let us achieve our shared goal of an efficient public transportation system that shall enhance our mobility, improve interconnectivity, and spur development equitably in our country.
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.
Ang lahat ng ito ay para sa ating mga mamamayan. Sama-sama nating isulong ang mga ganitong klaseng proyekto para sa lahat ng Pilipino.
Maraming salamat po. Mabuhay kayong lahat! At magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat. [applause]
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SOURCE: OPS-PND (Presidential News Desk)