If you use Ortigas Extension on a regular basis like many of us who live east of Metro Manila, here's a very important heads up.

In 2021 the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will commence construction of a new elevated railway system called the MRT-4 (formerly dubbed as LRT Line 4) after the project got the green light from the NEDA's Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) last December 20, 2019.

The project will mean the construction of the railway system beginning in 2021 and with a target opening date in 2025. The project will have a budget of PhP 59.3 billion which will come from the Asian Development Bank in the form of an ODA, or official development assistance.

The MRT-4 is intended to serve residents living east the metropolis in places such as Pasig, Taytay, Cainta, Antipolo, Angono, Binangonan; areas that have become the primary residential expansion zones for Metro Manila.

“Considering how densely-populated these areas are, which is made more difficult with the lack of road capacities and ever worsening traffic conditions, MRT-4 will be of great help in moving commuters between eastern Metro Manila and Rizal,” said Secretary Arthur Tugade in a statement.

The MRT-4 is intended to have 11 stations and will start in Taytay and provide a rail link to the MRT-3 and head on up to its other terminus at N. Domingo corner Granada Street in Quezon City, which would mean it's a short walk over to the LRT-2 station in Gilmore St.

The MRT-4 will span 15.56 kilometers, though initial plans under the LRT Line-4 name from 2015 only sought out 11.3 kilometers with the western terminus at EDSA, not N. Domingo corner Granada.

More importantly, the MRT-4 will traverse a part of the Manila East Road as well as the full length of Ortigas and Ortigas Extension from Tikling in Taytay, past EDSA and Greenhills. That would mean heavy construction on a critical road that is already known for its notoriously bad traffic conditions.

While it is expected that traffic will be adversely affected in the years during construction, the government is working on these railway projects for future generations. The government is already projecting initial ridership to be at over 230,000 passengers per day for the MRT-4.

“It’s crucial that we start these projects—we’ll be working on the procurement, that’s why we fast-tracked all these projects before the end of the year so that next year, we can focus purely on the detailed engineering and procurement of these big-ticket projects,” said Secretary Villar of the DPWH.