Clark Freeport, Pampanga—The government announced Thursday the construction of the P211.7-billion project PNR Phase II of the Clark-Malolos City railway system would start in May 2019 to support Central Luzon as center of growth and development of the country.
Secretary Arthur Tugade of the Department of Transportation said the PNR Clark North project composed of 53 kilometers was now undergoing final engineering detail and design prior to the start of its construction next May.
Speaking before Sulong Filipinas 2018 Philippines Development Forum here, Tugade also said that the project would be jointly financed by the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
“We are now in the bidding process and within two and half or three years the project will be finished in 2022 as planned,” Tugade assured the stakeholders.
The Phase II of the project will follow the old routes used by the Philippine National Railways but with elevated two-way rail tract, Tugade said.
He also said the electrified and elevated railways could carry 350.000 passengers a day and reduce the travel time to Clark from Malolos City from two hours to 35 minutes.
The Clark-Malolos City has six stations namely Calumpit in Bulacan; Apalit, San Simon, Sto. Tomas, and cities of San Fernando, and Angeles, all in Pampanga.
The Phase II will complement the 38 kilometers stretch from Malolos City from Tutuban in Metro Manila, the Phase I of the project.
The phase I also follows the old routes of PNR with 10 stations.
Aside from the Phase I and II, another project to be completed in the same year of 2022 is the 70-kilometer Subic-Clark-Cargo railways whose construction also starts in 2019. he said.
According to the Secretary, the cargo railway would connect Subic Port to Clark International Airport which is now constructing its new passenger terminal worth P12 billion to increase its capacity from to 8 million from 2.4 billion passengers a year.
With air, sea, and land transportation in place and completion on or before 2022, Central Luzon will be the center of growth and development in the country, Tugade said. the secretary added.