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Monday, July 15, 2024

Government to boost trade via new cargo railway route

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The Philippine National Railways (PNR) has announced plans to establish a new cargo and freight route called the Subic-Clark-Manila-Batangas (SCMB) Railway Corridor, aiming to boost trade within the country.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista will tender the contract to a consultancy firm for a feasibility study on the SCMB railway within the year. The Asian Development Bank is financing the $8 million study.

PNR chairperson Michael Ted Macapagal praised President Marcos’ vision and expressed optimism that the Filipino people would experience significant improvements in their lives as the country progresses towards middle-class status.

The creation of the corridor would catalyze growth by facilitating faster and more cost-effective transportation of consumer products, high-value semiconductors, and agricultural goods from northern and central Luzon, enhancing their competitiveness both domestically and internationally.

The US State Department will oversee the project’s implementation through the Office of the Special Presidential Coordinator for the G7 Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment.

This project marks the first of its kind undertaken by the US, in collaboration with Japan and the Philippines within the Indo-Pacific Region.

The proposed project is intended for cargo trains and should not be confused with the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), which is currently under construction. The NSCR is designed for passenger transportation and is estimated to cost P873.62 billion once completed in five years.

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