The first railway transportation system in the country that connects with an airport will soon be serving commuters, as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has started inviting interested firms to join the bidding for the construction of the PNR Clark Phase 2.
According to DOTr Undersecretary Timothy John Batan, the National Economic Development Authority has divided the contract for the P628 billion construction project into three packages.
Once it is operational by September 2022, the 53-kilometer Phase 2 railway stretching from Malolos, Bulacan to Clark International Airport will be transporting 550,000 passengers’ daily. Aside from Malolos, Phase 2 will have stations in Calumpit, Bulacan, as well as in Apalit, San Fernando, and Angeles City in Pampanga.
The project also includes the construction of an underground tunnel in the area of Clark Freeport.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will fund the said project.
P286 billion will be coming from the ADB covering major structures such as viaducts, bridges, and stations. Meanwhile, JICA will provide P201 billion for the assembling of train cars and other electro-mechanical requirements of the project.
For its part, the Philippine government allotted P201 billion to finance other needs of the project.
The construction of the first phase of the railway project has already started. Of the total project budget of P193 billion, JICA will be providing P93 billion.
A seamless railway system
The Philippine railway project will seamlessly integrate PNR North 1 and 2 with PNR South Commuter and PNR South Long Haul.
The PNR South Commuter project will be a 72-kilometer transportation railway from Manila to Los Banos, Laguna. It is expected to cut the travel time of almost 300,000 daily passengers from two hours to one hour, once it is fully operational.
Meanwhile, the 581-kilometer PNR South Long Haul will cover Manila, Legazpi, Matnog, and Batangas city. It will connect cities, international seaports, and economic zones.