DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade unveiled the gigantic engineering marvel Cutter Head of “KAUNLARAN,” the first among the six Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) that will be used for the partial operability section of the Philippines’ first ever Metro Manila Subway yesterday February 5, 2021.
The cutter head is the most substantial part of the TBM, weighing 74 tons. Its main purpose is to break, cut and grind rocks and soil by rotating its 36-piece disc cutter.
In his keynote speech, Tugade emphasized why the first TBM is aptly named “KAUNLARAN.”
“This Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) symbolizes its name, “KAUNLARAN”. Today, as we applaud the coming of Kaunlaran, I ask you, join us in riding the TBM, and in riding the first Metro Subway because ito ‘ho ay paglakbay papunta sa KAUNLARAN,” Secretary Tugade underscored.
“Mr. President, the Metro Manila Subway is one of the answers of DOTr in answering your clarion call of making the Filipino life comfortable. This TBM, and the five more that are coming, so that we achieve partial operability by December of this year, is our way of saying this morning: ‘Mr. President, we are committed to make the Filipino life comfortable,” Tugaded added.
DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan noted that the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP), along with other 12 railway projects throughout the country, are being implemented at record scale and at record pace. He proudly stated that to further fast-track the roll out of the MMSP, a fleet of 25 Japanes-made Tunnel Boring Machines or (TBMs) will be utilized.
“To accelerate the construction of the Metro Manila Subway Project and to minimize road interference during construction, we will be using not just 1 but a fleet of 25 Japanese-made Tunnel Boring Machines or (TBMs),” Usec. Batan explained.
Meanwhile, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa commended the DOTr for its efficient approach in realizing the project, and expressed Japan’s full commitment to support the Philippine government in realizing the much-needed transport infrastructure projects of the country.
“We will continue to support the Philippine government, by utilizing our state of the art technologies, and ensuring a fast and sure approach,” Ambassador Koshikawa expressed.
For his part, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative Eigo Azukizawa, assured the Philippine government that the agency will continue to do all the best it can, not just for the project but for the whole projects under the Duterte Administration’s “Build, Build, Build” Program.