The Department of Transportation said Thursday it signed three civil works contracts worth more over $1.7 billion for the construction of the Malolos-Clark Railway Project, a flagship project funded by the Asian Development Bank.
The DOTR said including the latest three deals, it had awarded five civil works contracts for the project totaling $2.5 billion. The first two contracts were signed on Aug. 1, 2020.
“This project is, by far, the ADB’s largest ever financing package for a single project, and is the single largest ‘Build, Build, Build’ project to date in the history of the Duterte administration,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
“The signing of these contracts means the Malolos-Clark Railway Project construction will now go on full speed, helping the country’s economic revival over the next 12 to 24 months,” said ADB director-general for Southeast Asia Ramesh Subramaniam.
“When completed by 2025 based on current plans, we expect the project to benefit nearly 350,000 commuters daily. We are proud to work with the Philippine government, development partners and the private sector to deliver this important flagship infrastructure project using modern technology for the country,” he said.
The project is expected to start before the end of the year.
The first contract package of the Malolos-Clark railway line—covering the construction of about 17 km of elevated rail viaduct, seven bridges, and two railway stations—was awarded to the joint venture of Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. and Dong-ah Geological Engineering Company Ltd. both based in Korea, and the Philippines’ Megawide Construction Corp.
“This project will be significant for Megawide as it will mark our foray into horizontal infrastructure. More than the commercial aspect, we have strong and extremely competent partners in Hyundai and Dong-ah, from whom we will be able to learn and leverage our learnings on as we pursue more projects in this space,” said Megawide chairman and chief executive Edgar Saavedra.
Spain’s Acciona Construction Philippines Inc. and Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd. won the second contract package, covering the building and civil engineering works for about 16 km of viaducts and one railway station. The third contract package, for the building and civil engineering works for 12 km of viaducts and two railway stations, was awarded to Italian-Thai Development Public Company Limited.
The other two contract packages were awarded in August to a joint venture of Acciona Construction Philippines Inc. and EEI Corp. and tKorea’s POSCO Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. A sixth contract for the construction of the Blumentritt station of the railway line will undergo rebidding.
The Malolos-Clark Railway Project will cut the travel time between Clark in northern Pampanga province and Manila from two to three hours by bus to one hour by train, with a maximum rail speed of up to 160 kilometers per hour.
It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60,000 tons annually and boost economic activity in regional growth centers like Clark.
The project is expected to create about 24,000 local construction jobs in the next three years. Once completed, the railway system will employ 1,400 people. The project will also spur larger, indirect employment and economic benefits to local businesses and raw material suppliers and manufacturers.
The project is part of the planned 163-km North–South Commuter Railway Project, which aims to reduce road congestion in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces. It will also help cut traffic-related economic costs, which total about $18 billion annually in Metro Manila alone. Once completed by 2040, the entire NSCR is expected to transport up to 1 million passengers daily.
The project is co-financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which will provide up to $2 billion in additional funding for the rolling stock and railway systems.