Published on : Tuesday, June 18, 2019
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved $2.75-billion financing for the construction of the Malolos-Clark railway segment of the big-ticket project. The North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project spans through 147 km from New Clark City in Tarlac to Calamba in Laguna province.
The 53.1 km passenger railway project stretches from Malolos to the Clark ecozone down to Clark International Airport in Pampanga. It includes a 1.9 km extension connecting Solis and Blumentritt in Manila. This rail line will cut travel time from Metro Manila to Clark Airport to less than one hour as compared to two-three hour travel by bus or car.
The project will support the construction of two sections, totaling 53.1 kilometers (km), of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), a 163 km suburban railway network connecting the regional center of Clark in Central Luzon with Metro Manila and Calamba, Laguna.
According to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Malolos-Clark railway funds by ADB represents its single largest infrastructure financing. It can serve up to 342,000 passengers daily travelling from Manila to Clark and will ease the chronic congestion on existing national and local roads in Metro Manila that are along the railway’s route.
As per Transportation Undersecretary Timothy Batan, the entire NSCR line can serve 700,000 passengers daily once fully operational.
The government has embarked on an ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program composed of 75 flagship projects with a total required investment of $180 billion. This is also aimed at raising public spending on infrastructure from less than two per cent a decade ago to seven percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2022.
Other than the real estate industry, the tourism industry is also expected to receive a boost, with an upsurge in tourist arrivals recorded at 4.1 million in Central Luzon last year.