DOTr to seek ok for higher cost of stalled railway projects

DOTr to seek ok for higher cost of stalled railway projects
Image by Tom from Pixabay
  • The Department of Transportation will seek National Economic and Development Authority approval for increased cost of three stalled railway projects
  • Philippine National Railways South Long Haul, Mindanao Railway Phase 1, and Subic-Clark Railway were initially set to get Chinese funding
  • Other entities are being tapped for alternative funding

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will seek approval from the National Economic and Authority Board for the cost hike for three stalled railway projects, according to Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista.

The P142-billion Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long Haul Project, P83-billion Mindanao Railway Project (MRP) first phase, and P51-billion Subic-Clark Railway were originally expected to receive official development assistance (ODA) from China. The funding request was withdrawn due to a lack of progress on the deal.

Bautista noted ongoing discussions with “certain organizations,” indicating interest in financing the three projects.

The 71-kilometer Subic-Clark railway project plays a pivotal role in the DOTr’s plan to establish a logistics hub in Central Luzon connecting the Port of Subic in Zambales to the Clark metropolis, home to Clark International Airport. China Harbour Engineering Co. secured the contract for the P51 billion Subic-Clark Railway Project in December 2020.

The PNR-South Long-Haul, also known as PNR Bicol, will feature a 565-km railway connecting Metro Manila to the southern Luzon provinces of Sorsogon and Batangas. In January 2022, the contract for the design, construction, and electromechanical works of the project was awarded to the joint venture of China Railway Group Ltd., China Railway No. 3 Engineering Group Co. Ltd., and China Railway Engineering Consulting Group Co. Ltd.

The Tagum-Davao-Digos segment forms the initial phase of the proposed 830-kilometer MRP loop. This involves a 102.28-kilometer commuter railway from Tagum City, Davao del Norte, to Digos City, Davao del Sur, featuring seven stations, one terminal in Davao City, and one depot in Tagum City.