Watch how the subway is built

February 28, 2019

THIS corner is excited about the groundbreaking of the country’s first subway project. For the first time, the government under President Rodrigo Duterte has truly signaled its intent to improve our infrastructure.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade was right in saying the project should be ‘watched’ because we don’t want it to be wasted out of poor construction that may result from corruption.

A lot of our infrastructure facilities -- railway systems, roads, bridges, highways -- were poorly built because most of the funds for them went to the pockets of greedy government officials and contractors.

Yes, we will closely watch how this subway is going to be built so we can have one similar to what Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan have. And let’s hope more projects of this kind is going to happen in our country because they will change our lives for the better.

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In Taiwan, the ‘bullet train’ can travel almost 300 kilometers per hour, enabling Taiwanese people to go to far places locally in just a short time.

From Taipei, which is located at northern end of  Taiwan island, one can get to the middle part, say in Taichung City leading to the central mountain range where the Sun Moon Lake can be found, in only an hour.

And riding the bullet train is never uncomfortable because the stations are roomy and well maintained. The  ticketing system is also efficient. Though it runs very fast, the train is stable enough to keep one’s cup of coffee steady.

Interestingly, Taiwan’s bullet train is interconnected with the regular trains which they also call MRT. So after alighting from the high speed train, one can just take the escalator to another level of a station where  MRT trains bound to different places can be found.

With that experience, one can estimate that going on the southern tip of Taiwan in Kaohsiung City from Taipei at the opposite end will only take about 2 hours. That’s amazing because in my city here in the Phlippines, its about two hours from my home to another barangay!

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Oh yes, Secretary Tugade, I’ll be watching how our subway would be built. Maybe we can start with the contractor.

Reports said EEI, the builder of MRT 7, will construct our first subway.

Just recently, EEI went underfire over the sudden announcement for the closure of the Tandang Sora flyover to give way for the construction of the railway station.

Prior to this, there were questions about the railway design being shifted from overhead to ground level. Some also complained about the slow pace the construction is going.

And of course, how can one forget the silly design of the terminal in Quezon City where passengers have to walk for ‘miles’ before reaching the MRT 1 station. Our railway systems have to be interconnected so they can be truly efficient. It’s not happening with MRT 7.

With these issues, one can’t be blamed for asking why EEI is also building our subway. Can a single contractor really bag two major projects even though it has not proven itself to be capable of building railway systems the right way?

Well, construction for the subway has already started and the only thing we can do now is to watch how it will proceed. 

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