Makati subway stalls on Taguig win


Makati Mayor Abby Binay talks about the route of the planned Makati Subway project. —EARVIN PERIAS/File photo

MANILA  -The future of the P200-billion Makati Subway project was cast into doubt after the project’s private sector developer raised feasibility concerns amid a territorial dispute between the neighboring cities of Makati and Taguig in Metro Manila.

The Supreme Court in 2021 ruled that 10 barangays—referred to as “embo barangays”—originally part of Makati should come under Taguig’s jurisdiction.

The subway’s publicly listed developer, Philippine InfraDev Holdings, said in a stock exchange filing on Wednesday this would affect the train depot and a few of the proposed stations for the project, an 11-kilometer underground train linking key areas in the Makati business district.

A source with knowledge of the matter told the Inquirer the affected areas were its depot in Barangay Cembo and stations near the University of Makati and Ospital ng Makati.

“The alignment of the subway will no longer be feasible,” the company said in a stock exchange filing on Wednesday.

“The company wrote the Makati City Government an intent notice to propose the commencement of discussions in light of the change in law the Supreme Court decision brings,” it added.

Shares of Philippine InfraDev plunged more than 10 percent to P0.52 apiece following the announcement.

The Makati Subway project was one of the biggest local government and private sector joint venture infrastructure projects when it was signed in 2019. This is separate from the P350-billion Metro Manila subway project of the Department of Transportation.

Original deal

Under the agreement, the Makati City government transferred the beneficial ownership of a 7.9-hectare property in Makati City to Philippine Infradev in exchange for the issuance of preferred shares in the company.

“These idle properties which are located at the identified stations of the Subway Project will be used in the construction of topside development for residential, commercial and public uses,” Philippine InfraDev said in its latest annual report.

In 2021, Philippine InfraDev awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the first 8-kilometer phase of the Makati subway project to state-owned China Construction Second Engineering Bureau Co. Ltd.

There were no details on the project’s progress. Last February, the firm said above-ground utilities were being relocated while the tunnel boring machine was being assembled.

Philippine InfraDev used to be led by businessman Antonio Tiu before he resigned early this year. The company, chaired by Chinese businessman Ren Jinhua, is controlled by Aggregate Business Group Holdings Inc.

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