The Department of Transportation on Saturday signed two civil works contracts worth nearly P38 billion ($728 million) for the Malolos–Clark Railway Project.
The “signing of the two civil works contracts for the Malolos–Clark Railway Project is a milestone for the Philippine government’s landmark Build, Build, Build infrastructure development program,” said Ramesh Subramaniam, Director General for Southeast Asia of Asian Development Bank. ADB financed the project.
“ADB remains strongly committed to working with the government, development partners, and the private sector to deliver infrastructure for all Filipinos. The Malolos–Clark Railway is expected to be completed by 2024. When the entire North–South Commuter Railway system is operational, we expect up to one million passengers will ride the train daily on this modern, safe, and efficient system by 2040.”
The project, part of the 163-kilometer (km) North–South Commuter Railway Project, will ease road congestion in Metro Manila and nearby provinces and reduce annual traffic-related economic costs, which total $18 billion in Metro Manila alone. It will help push economic activity to regional growth centers like Clark in Pampanga province.
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 civil works contracts will help the Philippines’ economic revival. The project will create about 24,000 local construction jobs in the next three years and 14,000 more jobs related to the railway system’s operation.
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 Japan International Cooperation Agency, which is cofinancing the project, will provide up to $2 billion in additional funding for the rolling stock and railway systems.
The railway project will construct a safe, affordable, reliable, and environment-friendly railway connecting the northern provinces and the capital, Metro Manila.