Japanese and local contractors started the construction of train stations along the Tutuban-Malolos segment of PNR Clark Phase 1 following the signing of a contract, the Department of Transportation said Monday.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Taisei Corp. managing executive officer Keiji Hirano signed the contract, with D.M. Consunji Inc. president and chief executive Jorge Consunji serving as a witness. Taisei and DMCI formed a joint venture to build the 37.6-kilometer PNR Clark Phase 1.
PNR Clark Phase 1 will run from Tutuban, Manila to Malolos, Bulacan. The first package consists of civil works for elevated structures, a depot in Valenzuela and the construction of six stations in Solis, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Meycauayan, Marilao and Bocaue.
Tugade said the construction works for the second package actually started in February and covered three stations in Balagtas, Guiginto and Malolos, while the development of six stations under the first package began Monday.
He said that once PNR Clark Phase 1 was completed and became operational by the fourth quarter of 2021, travel time from Manila to Malolos would be reduced from one hour and 30 minutes to just 35 minutes. The rail line once completed is expected to serve 300,000 passengers daily.
“Last February, we started the actual construction of three stations, from Bocaue to Malolos. Now we are here to start the second phase of PNR Clark 1 from Tutuban to Bocaue…Today is a humble response to the president’s order to improve Filipino lives through enhanced mobility and connectivity,” Tugade said.
PNR Clark Phase 1 forms part of the North-South Commuter Railway Project”•a mega rail network that aims to seamlessly integrate the National Capital Region, Central Luzon and Calabarzon, through PNR Clark Phases 1 and 2 (Tutuban-Malolos and Malolos-Clark) and PNR Calamba (Manila-Laguna).
Transportation Undersecretary Timothy Batan said the entire NSCR line aimed to serve 700,000 passengers daily once fully operational.
“The North-South Commuter Railway System, or the combined and interoperable PNR Clark and PNR Calamba Projects, demonstrates the scale of what the DOTr, under the strong leadership of Secretary Tugade, is working triple, if not quadruple, time to deliver. It is indeed a most ambitious project that will usher in the Philippines’ ‘Golden Age of Infrastructure,’ and that will deliver our president’s promise of a more comfortable life to every Filipino,” Batan said.
Tugade said the DOTr and the PNR were expediting the acquisition of right of way to complete the construction of the stations.
“As I speak today, we have completed 90.1 percent of the right of way. We have 443,000 square meters finalized and clear. With the efforts of the PNR and the DOTr, in a matter of time, the properties will be delivered free and clear so that the Filipino people can ride and experience the rail system ahead of time,” Tugade said.
Consunji said that together with Taisei Corp., they would deliver their commitment once the ROW was free and clear.
“DMCI, together with Taisei, is proud in welcoming the changes to advance the progress of our nation. Secretary Tugade, you give us the right of way, and we will deliver right away,” Consunji said.
“This is a good example of having a stronger collaboration not just between our two governments but with the private sector, as well. It has always been a great honor for Jica [Japan International Cooperation Agency] to be part of the Philippine government’s undertakings and be given the opportunity to work with the Department of Transportation in improving the daily commuting experience of the Filipinos,” said Jica chief representative Yoshio Wada said.
PNR Clark Phase 1 is funded by official development assistance from Japan through Jica.