The Department of Transportation said over the weekend the multibillion-peso Manila-Clark commuter rail project is on track to be fully operational by 2024 and could create thousands of jobs.
It said the P150-billion PNR Clark Phase 2 (Malolos to Clark segment) recorded an overall progress rate of 32 percent as of July, while the P106-billion PNR Clark Phase 1 (Tutuban to Malolos segment), reached a 48-percent completion rate.
Transportation Undersecretary for railways Timothy John Batan said during the site inspection of the project in Clark both Phase 1 and Phase 2 would be fully operational by 2024.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the North-South Commuter Railway’s Malolos-Clark segment was expected to generate 7,000 direct jobs.
Phase 2 forms part of the massive 147-km. NSCR line, which will have 35 stations and operate 464 train cars, with 58 eight-car train sets configuration.
PNR Clark Phase 2 will have six train stations in Calumpit, Apalit, San Fernando, Angeles, Clark and Clark Airport. The rail stations will include multimodal facilities that will allow seamless transfer of commuters from public utility vehicles to trains.
Apart from the 7,000 direct jobs that opened during the construction phase of the PNR Clark Phase 2, around 3,000 more job opportunities will be generated once the project becomes operational.
The department said that for the whole NSCR line, over 25,000 direct job opportunities would be generated during construction and another 10,000 jobs would be created upon completion.
“The DOTr, in all of its projects, has always aimed to revitalize the country’s economy. A transport infrastructure project like the NSCR will spur economic growth in Central Luzon, particularly the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga,” Tugade said.
Tugade said once operational, PNR Clark Phase 2 will improve transport connectivity and mobility across Central Luzon and spur various employment in various sectors.
“The Malolos to Clark Railway of the North-South Commuter Railway aims to cut travel time between Malolos, Bulacan and Clark, Pampanga, from 1.5 to 2 hours, to just 30 to 35 minutes. It also features the country’s first-ever Airport Railway Express Service, which will connect Makati to the Clark International Airport in just 55 minutes, from the current two to three hours,” Tugade said.
The NSCR System is the single largest infrastructure project funded by the Asian Development Bank and is the longest greenfield commuter railway project to be financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
It is also the biggest project to be undertaken under the “Build, Build, Build” Program of the Duterte Administration with a total cost of P777.55-billion. It is one of the key infrastructure railway projects supported by Japan, in addition to the Metro Manila Subway and the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 rehabilitation projects.
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