MANILA, Philippines---The Department of Transportation on Saturday signed two civil contracts worth P38 billion for the Malolos-Clark Railway Project with the Asian Development Bank funding the operation.
According to the ADB, the contract signing will jumpstart the construction phase of the project which is expected to create jobs and boost the local economic activity.
The first of the two contracts was awarded to the joint venture of Spain's Acciona Construction Philippines, Inc. and EEI Corp. that will build about 6.3 kilometers of main railway lines and 1.6 km of depot access line that will include an underground railway station at Clark International Airport.
The other contract was awarded to South Korea's POSCO Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd., which will construct a 33-hectare depot and a railway operations control center in Mabalacat, Pampanga.
DoTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the project with the ADB is the way of the government to show to the citizenry that it hasn't stopped with the "Build Build Build" programs.
"I want to send a message to the Filipino people that we have never stopped working, we have kept the ball rolling to deliver the much-needed transport infrastructure projects of the country. This is our own way of saying 'Build, Build, Build continues.'"
ADB Director General for Southeast Asia Ramesh Subramaniam said the project is expected to be completed by 2024.
"Today's 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 Subramaniam.
The Malolos-Clark Railway project will be part of the 163-km North-South Commuter Railway Project and is expected to ease road congestion in Metro Manila and nearby provinces while also reducing traffic-related costs that have totaled $18 billion in the National Capital Region alone.
Apart from decongesting Metro Manila, the railway is also expected to grow regional centers like Clark in Pampanga, cut travel time from the province to the capital, and reduce greenhouse emissions by an estimated 60,000 tons annually.
The ADB said that the project would create 24,000 local construction jobs for the next three years and 14,000 more jobs related to the railway system's operations.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency, which is co-financing the project, will provide up to $2 billion in additional funding for the rolling stock and railway systems.