MALOLOS CITY—The Department of Transportation met with residents of Bulacan from Meycauayan to Malolos to respond to their concerns about just compensation and dislocation from business and workplace by the planned North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.
The residents voiced their concerns during the initial public consultation called by Deo Leo Manalo, Undersecretary for Rail and Toll Roads of the DoTr.
Celestino Ulep, supervisor of the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) and Japan Design Study Team, and Cristina Quinalayo, of the DoTr, took more than four hours to parry queries from families especially those whose houses will be torn down by the construction of the train’s mandatory fencing.
The DoTr team also promised to come up with a website or a page in a popular social media in order to address other issues and update affected residents once construction starts.
A hundred households in two barangays in Malolos and four barangays in the towns of Guiguinto and Balagtas clamored for a detailed perspective on the NSCR to avoid dislocation and unforeseen inconveniences.
The train will run from Tutuban in Manila to Malolos, covering a 38-kilometer elevated track line to be financed by a loan 241.99-billion Yen (P97,376,145, 568.86) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Based on the updated prospectus of the project, travel time of the train (from 60 kilometers per hour to 120 kph) from Tutuban to Malolos will be reduced to 35 minutes for commuters using bus or jeepneys that take 1-1/2 hours to 2 hours.
The NSCR will use electric multiple train units composed of eight coaches (20 meters long each) that carry up to 2,200 passengers per train (160 meters long). The peak period of train services is expected at 10 trains per hour with a headway of six minutes interval in between train at 120/kph.
The NSCR train will utilize the former route line and right-of-way of the Philippine National Railways from Tutuban passing through Solis in Tondo, Sangandaan in Caloocan City and Valenzuela City where a 13,822-hectare depot will be constructed.
From Valenzuela, the railway tracks parallel to McArthur Highway will enter Bulacan through the City of Meycauayan, known for its world-class jewelry, where a terminal will serve neighboring residents from Obando.
The next stop is Marilao near a big mall along the national highway. Another stop will be in the town of Bocaue, known as the hub of the pyrotechnics and firecracker industry.
A terminal will also be built in Balagtas and in Guiguinto towns which will be strategic points to serve commuters from the towns of Bulakan, Pandi, Plaridel and other far-flung barangays of Malolos.
The new timetable for the construction of Tutuban-Malolos railways will start sometime in the early 2018 up to 2021 with the ‘Bidding Dates’ to take place next year. Inaugural run of the NSCR train is expected by the year 2022.