Work will begin on the Manila subway in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
The system will be financed by the Philippine and Japanese governments, which signed a $935m deal for phase one of construction in March this year.
The first phase of the 25km railway is expected to cost $7bn, and will have 14 stations running from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City in the north to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Paranaque City in the south.
Part of the subway will be operational by 2022, although the first stage will not be complete until 2025.
According to the state-run Philippines News Agency, the subway is part of the government’s "Build, Build, Build" programme. Work was originally scheduled to begin in 2019, but construction has been fast-tracked.
Work will also start on the Railway Institute in Valenzuela, according to Tugade.
Image: Artists impression of a train that will run on the subway (Philippines Department of Transportation)