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Phl, China seal P47B Subic-Clark railway project

Raffy Ayeng

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This year’s highest-funded government-to-government project between the Philippines and China was formally signed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday during the latter’s official visit to the country for a bilateral meeting.

Information from the Chinese Embassy in Manila said the contract of the Subic-Clark Railway Project, approximately amounting to $940 Million, was sealed during the sidelines of the two leaders’ bilateral talks.

The project, which will be solely funded by China, is a flagship development under the “Build Build Build” program of the Duterte administration.  It is a 71-kilometer single-track cargo railway that will connect Subic Bay Freeport Zone and the Clark International Airport, interconnected to the country’s North Railway Project.

The Chinese Embassy said the railway will mainly adopt Chinese standards, and the construction period is estimated to last 42 months, while in the long term, the extension of the railway will reach New Clark City.

“Once completed, the railway will build a resilient linkage between ports, railways, and airports along the Subic-Clark corridor, which will improve the logistic efficiency, trim the transportation cost and support the potential demand for freight services and economic activities in the region,” the Chinese Embassy added.

The Chinese and the Philippine governments will soon kick off the loan agreement negotiation of the project, the embassy added.

Duterte, in 2017 initiated the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program, which intended to spend P8 to P9 Trillion pesos (roughly $160 billion to $180 billion) in the medium term, to improve the country’s public transportation system.

 

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