ANTIPOLO, Rizal – None other than Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the inauguration of the 3.79-kilometer elevated LRT-2 East Extension Project as he also rode the inaugural train on Thursday, 01 July 2021 at the new Antipolo station.
“I am pleased to grace today’s inauguration of the Light Railway Transit Line 2 East Extension Project, one of the hallmarks of the administration’s firm commitment to provide a better transportation system for all… Indeed, this project will improve the mobility and ensure transportation connectivity in the busy part of Metro Manila,” the President said in his keynote speech.
The Php 9.51-billion LRT-2 East Extension Project adds two new stations namely Marikina-Pasig and Antipolo stations to the existing line between Santolan in Pasig and Recto in Manila. Marikina-Pasig station is located in front of Robinsons Metro East near Mayor Gil Fernando Avenue in Marikina City while the Antipolo station is situated in front of SM Masinag, adjacent to the Masinag junction near Sumulong Highway in Antipolo City, Rizal.
Operations are set to commence Monday, 05 July 2021 with eight trains set to run on the line as compared to the usual five trains. Each trainset has a massive 1,628 maximum capacity. Both directions will start at 5 AM while the last trip for Westbound directions or those going to Recto will be at 8:30 PM and at 9 PM for Eastbound directions or those headed to Antipolo.
Also, as announced by the President, a free train service will be provided to passengers for the segment of eastern extension namely Antipolo, Marikina-Pasig station and Santolan station starting Monday, 05 July for two weeks until 18 July 2021.
Projected to add 80,000 more daily passengers and to cut travel time for 17.59-km route between Antipolo station to Recto station in Manila to only forty minutes as compared to up to three hours of travel for the same route using other vehicle modes such as cars, jeepneys or buses, the project has helped generate approximately 1,800 jobs.
“Looking behind this project, please allow me to give my snappy salute and sincere congratulations to the busy men and women who made this extension successful, the Department of Transportation, our Line 2 East Project Management Office, the contractors, consultants, and of course all the laborers, thank you for dedicating your heart, blood and sweat for this remarkable toil,” Light Rail Transit Authority Administrator Reynaldo Berroya uttered in his welcome remarks.
“Maraming maraming salamat po sa ating mga manggagawang Pilipino,” President Duterte also expressed his gratitude.
A ceremonial unveiling of marker was done which was led by President Duterte, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, DOTR Secretary Arthur Tugade and LRTA Administrator Berroya. The marker reads, “Built under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program… designed to enhance mobility in the eastern part of Metro Manila and the province of Rizal, for the Filipino people and the travelling public.”
After the unveiling, Department of Transportation Secretary Tugade pointed out in his introduction of the President how the project will impact the students while noting that before the pandemic, 40% of the line’s total ridership are students as the LRT-2 line traverses the “university district”.
The event was also graced by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Senator Go, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Minister Masahiro Nakata, the Chargė D’affaires Ad Interim from the Embassy of Japan to the Philippines, Deputy House Speaker and Antipolo 1st District Representative Cong. Roberto Puno, DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan, JICA Chief Representative Eigo Azukizawa, PNR General Manager Junn Magno, Rizal Governor Rebecca Ynares, Antipolo Mayor Andrea Ynares, Former Rizal Governors Casimiro Ynares Jr. and Casimiro Ynares III, Angono Mayor Jeri Mae Calderon, Taytay Mayor Ricardo Gacula II, PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago, other DOTr and LRTA officials, and consultants and contractors.
“Grinding its way towards the Golden age of Infrastructure, this railway extension project is set to leave a modern purple footprint to the current administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program… Mr. President, mission accomplished,” LRTA Administrator Berroya declared.