The Department of Transportation on Thursday signed four civil works contracts amounting to $1.87 billion for the South Commuter Railway Project funded by the Asian Development Bank.
The first four contract packages will include the construction of 31.5 kilometers of railway viaducts, nine elevated stations and one railway depot covering the Muntinlupa to Calamba portion of SCRP. The project, which will lay nearly 55 kilometers of railway segment to connect Metro Manila with Laguna province, is being financed with $4.3 billion in loans approved by ADB.
It said it would award the remaining civil works contract packages soon covering the Manila (Blumentritt) to Muntinlupa portion of SCRP.
The ADB is also financing the construction of the Malolos–Clark Railway Project, which comprises the northern segment of the railway network.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said the ambitious $15.8-billion North-South Commuter Railway Project “will bring back the culture of rail transport in the Philippines.”
“Today is the next significant step in that direction,” Bautista said, adding that the project would elevate the country’s transportation system to global standards.
Bautista said the massive project would bring benefits to Filipinos once the project was completed, including the 110,000 direct and indirect jobs it would create.
“This railway will offer safe, affordable, convenient and comfortable transport to Filipinos, while accelerating the country’s economic rebound,” he said.
ADB deputy director general for Southeast Asia Winfried Wicklein said the project would open tremendous opportunities for economic integration across Metro Manila and neighboring provinces and create a significant positive impact on the local economy.
“It will strengthen the country’s economic recovery, create as many as 35,000 construction jobs and more than 3,000 permanent jobs during the railway operation and improve access for residents of Laguna province to employment in Metro Manila,” he said.
The SCR will connect to the future Metro Manila Subway system and be designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes. Travel time between Manila and Calamba using the railway will be reduced by over half from 2.5 hours by road.
Co-financed by ADB and Japan International Cooperation Agency, the 147.26-kilometer NSCR project will stretch from Clark International Airport in Pampanga to Calamba City in Laguna, cutting across 28 cities and municipalities in Central Luzon, National Capital Region and CALABARZON.
The entire NSCR will have 35 stations, including three depots, and will run on 51 commuter train and seven express train sets.