Cebu Subway: The first Subway Tunnel in the Philippines

Known to many as the business hub of country, Cebu now boasts one of its innovations to fast pace access to the city’s central business district – The Cebu Subway. The first of its niche in the entire Philippines, Cebu Subway stretches in a 0.97 kilometers long access from the SRP (South Road Properties) going underneath the historical Plaza Independencia and Fort San Pedro and ends at Sergio Osmeña Blvd. near Pier 2.

The construction of the Cebu Subway which is also known as the 3B-2 project started last June 28, 2006. With very limited budget the development of the tunnel was sluggish. It was only in 2008 where a big part of the 1.2 billion budget from the government, which was acquired through a loan from the JBIC (Japan Bank for International Cooperation) made the construction of the Cebu Subway faster.

The Cebu Subway was inaugurated last June 10, 2010 by former President Gloria Arroyo which ended her term and became a Congresswoman of Pampanga last June 30, 2010. Together with Cebu City Mayor-elect Michael Rama, the Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Makoto Katsura, officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Kajima Corporation, Mrs. Arroyo unveiled the marker located right at the entrance of the Cebu Subway going to the South Road Properties during the said inauguration day.

Cebu Subway Tunnel

Cebu Subway Tunnel

At the moment, the Cebu Subway still has some minor developments like the installation of electrical systems, mounting of security cameras and a lot of other security measures to make sure the project is ready for public use. The Cebu Subway is expected to be fully open to the public by August 2010. At this time, the tunnel is open on weekdays during rush hours; from 6 am to 9am and 5pm to 8pm. During weekends, the tunnel is closed and the development will resume until such time everything has been completed.

The Cebu Subway will be maintained by the DPWH-7 (Department of Public Works and Highways – Region 7) after the one year warranty period provided by Kajima Corporation, the Japanese builders. They will also train the DPWH personnel who will handle the maintenance and management of the Cebu Subway.

Consisting of four lanes, with two tunnels in both directions, the Cebu Subway is the “road to a faster economy”. It has an automatic pumping and lighting system and it is complete with safety features. It is of world-class standards and one of the many infrastructures Cebu City is proud of.

This page is last updated on Jun 16, 2011 @ 2:39 pm
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Mark Anthony Maranga Mark Anthony Maranga is a Web Designer based in Cebu, Philippines. He sells Balloons and Party Supplies in Mandaue City, Cebu and explores the Philippines tourist attractions. During his free time he take pictures and write blogs. Check his website design portfolio and know more about him.

  1. alejandro fortuna says:

    The dissimulation of excavating a subtunnel in Cebu City is very controversial , you had blinded millions of Cebuanos about the treasures you had got underneath the port San Pedro Park. According to Mr. Jackson Carter that he had a map in the Island of Cebu City where the Japanese soldiers Camp during the Japanese occupation in the philippines. The port San Pedro Park and the old churches there…………..and some parts of the islands.
    Be careful ! if the Cebuano knows about this …….

  2. Ryan says:

    Ilang Tunelada na Ginto ang nakuha nyo sa pag develop ng Tunnel na yan? binibilog lang nila ang ulo ng mga Cebuano. the tunnel passed my historical area in cebu which based on researched Japanese Buried a Gold underneath… kaya nga Japanese Contractor kasi kinukuha lang nila yung mga Ginto (gold) na naka libing.. I am a pure cebuno and I am so sure about my allegations.. Kawawa ang taong bayan ilang Pulitiko nanaman ang naki nabang,….

  3. Martz says:

    It’s a subway using the British usage. But using the same meaning (short tunnel or underpass), it’s definitely not the first in the Philippines. The first I think is the Quezon Boulevard Underpass in Quiapo and the Lagusnilad in front of the Manila City Hall built sometime in the 60’s.

    If one would argue that these are more of the “open-type” roadway and not in the same “niche”, we can point to the EDSA-Boni/Pioneer Tunnel in Mandaluyong, EDSA-Ayala Tunnel in Makati or the LRT2 Katipunan Tunnel in the Quezon City-Marikina boundary.

  4. Art Laid says:

    sub·way [suhb-wey]


    1. Also called, especially British , tube, underground. an underground electric railroad, usually in a large city.

    2. Chiefly British . a short tunnel or underground passageway for pedestrians, automobiles, etc.; underpass.

  5. Vince says:

    Where’s the train?

  6. jovz says:

    Good day,
    may we just ask if where should we get a permission,if we would like to visit the tunnel for our educational tour? for engineering students?.should u know whom to contact kindly inform us as soon as is our email address
    Thank you and god bless!!!!

  7. Rich says:

    Almost jumped with joy when I read CEBU SUBWAY. However in our local term, it should have been called CEBU TUNNEL. Subway is normally associated with an underground train in Pinas.

    Very misleading. To me at least. I do not know about others who have read this.

    • Chai says:

      I have to agree with you Rich. I thought there are now subway trains in Cebu considering I haven’t been to Cebu for years now I was surprise. I think it would be more appropriate to just call it Cebu Underground Tunnel…just an opinion pips.

  8. Alex M. says:

    The one in EDSA-Ayala in Makati can be considered a subway tunnel (both MRT and the road). This one in Cebu is quite longer (or maybe not).

  9. Alvin says:

    Cebu Tunnel is nice but I don’t think it’s the first in the Philippines. We have few tunnels here in Manila.

  10. Nemesio Sinangote says:


    Thanks also… The Cebu Subway Tunnel is now open to the public 24/7 since last Aug. 24 this year. Cebu can really boasts that unlike other subways in different cities in the world like the one I passed by in Duesseldorf, Germany that no ventilation windows inside the tunnel (only solid walls both sides), this one here in Cebu is really different and one of its modern kind like in Japan..

  11. Nemesio Sinangote says:

    I’m nemesio, working as CAD Operator here in Kajima Corporation- the Japanese contractor that built the tunnel. The reason why it was open before only from 7am to 9am then from 4pm to 7pm (MWF) is that theres still some variation works needed like installation of digital equipments inside the Environmetal Management Control Office. Without this properly installed, there’s a great risk of safety inside the tunnel like for instance the sudden flow of both seawater and from the existing drainages in the city. Also additional work contributes a lot like the new fencing of Plaza Indepenencia. Its not just about tunnel, but it’s the whole that Cebuanos would be proud of when you see the new landscape of Plaza Independencia when completely finished.

    • Mark Maranga says:


      Thank you for dropping by and giving us an additional information about the Cebu Subway Tunnel.

    • Leif Cas says:

      Good day Sir Nemesio, may i ask for the complete details and dimensions of this tunnel? This is for my illumination design purpose..

  12. Chris says:

    They’ve spent billions to construct the tunnel but safety signage seems tacky or is it temporary?

    • Mark Maranga says:

      Chris, I’m not sure if it’s already permanent or temporary. But one thing is for sure, they built the Cebu Subway Tunnel with extra care to avoid any untoward accidents.

  13. misterp says:

    I’m very confused with this tunnel right now.. one time they opened it then next thing I know it’s close again, well from what I know the tunnel is not yet done. Got a chance to pass through it though.

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