Malolos-Clark Railway Project About to Begin
Following the signing of three civil works contracts worth more than $1.7 billion, the construction of the Malolos-Clark Railway project is about to begin. A flagship Philippine project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the project cuts the travel time between Clark in northern Pampanga province and Manila from three hours by bus to one hour by train with a speed of up to 160 kilometres per hour.
With a project helpful to the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 600,000 yearly and also spurs economic activity within the Clark area, this also creates employment of about 240,000 local construction work in the next three years and when completed, employs around 140,000 people.
According to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, this project is by far the largest financing project by the ADB and the largest Build-Build-Build project by the Duterte administration.
“Be assured that we are focused on our goal to make the Filipino life comfortable, the Filipino life convenient,” Tugade said.
For ADB director-general for Southeast Asia Ramesh Subramaniam, he 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. 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.”
Part of the planned 163-km North-South Commuter Railway Project with an objective of reducing road congestion in Metro Manila, this project can also aid in curbing traffic-related costs which total around $18 billion yearly in Metro Manila alone. Once this project is completed, this railway system expects to transport around 1 million passengers every day.
The first contract package of the railway system was awarded to the joint venture of Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. and Dong-ah Geological Engineering Company Ltd., both based in the Republic of Korea, and the Philippines’ Megawide Construction Corp. This involves the construction of about 17 km of elevated rail viaduct and two railway stations.
For the second contract package, Spain’s Acciona Construction Philippines Inc. and Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd took over its helm, covering the civil engineering and building works for about one railway station and 16 km of the viaduct.
Meanwhile, the third contract was awarded to Italian–Thai Development Public Company Limited for the building and civil engineering works for 12 km of the viaduct.
The project is co-financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which provides up to $2 billion in additional funding for the railway systems.