The Department of Transportation (DoTr) will soon jump start the construction of the flagship Malolos–Clark Railway Project financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
This developed as DOTr over the weekend signed two civil works contracts amounting to &728 million or around P38 billion worth railway projects.
One contract, which was awarded to the joint venture of Spain’s Acciona Construction Philippines, Inc. and EEI Corporation, will build about 6.3 km of main railway lines and 1.6 km of depot access line, including an underground railway station at Clark International Airport.
The other contract, which was awarded to South Korea’s POSCO Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd., will erect a 33-hectare depot and a railway operations control center in Mabalacat, Pampanga.
Three more contracts for civil works are set to be awarded later this year.
The DoTr said these projects would help the the country’s economic revival as the project is seen generating 24,000 local construction jobs in the next three years and 14,000 more jobs related to the railway system’s operation.
According to Transportation chief Arthur Tugade, the project will lead to larger, indirect employment and economic benefits to local businesses, such as suppliers of raw materials, which in turn will create more jobs.
“I want to send a message that we have kept the ball rolling to deliver the much-needed transport infrastructure projects of the country. This is our way of saying ‘Build, Build, Build continues,” Tugade said.
The Malolos–Clark Railway Project, part of the 163-kilometer (km) North-South Commuter Railway Project, is envisioned to ease road congestion in the capital and nearby provinces and reduce annual traffic-related economic costs, which total $18 billion in Metro Manila alone.
It will likewise help boost economic activity to regional growth centers like Clark in Pampanga province.
Once completed, the project will cut the travel time between Clark and Manila from two to three hours by bus to one hour by train, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60,000 tons annually.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency, which is co-financing the project, will provide up to $2 billion in additional funding for the rolling stock and railway systems.