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Japanese consultant picked for Malolos-Tutuban rail project

The Philippine Star
Japanese consultant picked for Malolos-Tutuban rail project

“JICA has consistently supported transport infrastructure development in the Philippines since the 1960s. The NSCR project will be the game changer by kick-starting the large scale investment by the current administration through building a modern railway network for achieving the twin goals of addressing the serious traffic congestion in Metro Manila and enhancing the connectivity of Metro Manila and its nearby areas, thus expanding Manila’s economic sphere,” said JICA Philippines senior representative Tetsuya Yamada. File

MANILA, Philippines — A Japanese consortium led by Oriental Consultants Global has bagged the consulting contract for the construction of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project (Malolos – Tutuban line), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said.

“JICA has consistently supported transport infrastructure development in the Philippines since the 1960s. The NSCR project will be the game changer by kick-starting the large scale investment by the current administration through building a modern railway network for achieving the twin goals of addressing the serious traffic congestion in Metro Manila and enhancing the connectivity of Metro Manila and its nearby areas, thus expanding Manila’s economic sphere,” said JICA Philippines senior representative Tetsuya Yamada.

The 37.6-kilometer NSCR is an elevated railway expected reduce travel time from Malolos, Bulacan to Tutuban, Manila from 2 hours to 35 minutes and allow economic activity to spread out to surrounding areas of Metro Manila. Advanced Japanese technologies including seismic designs would be used in the railway to make the infrastructure disaster-resilient.

The NSCR project is funded by an official development assistance loan amounting to 241.991 billion yen signed in November 2015. It is among the flagship projects under the Philippine government’s Build Build, Build program.

The NSCR is part of the cooperation agenda identified between Japan and the Philippines during the first Philippines-Japan Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation meeting in Japan early this year.

Prior to that, the Philippine government has approved the Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for Metro Manila and its Surrounding Areas in 2014. Under the roadmap, the creation of two mass transit systems traversing Metro Manila from north to south – the NSCR and the Metro Manila Subway Project – is eyed to alleviate traffic congestion in Metro Manila by improving its connectivity to the suburbs.

JICA noted that although Metro Manila has a population density of 19,137 people for every square kilometer, its transportation backbone is inferior, having only three elevated railway lines with a total length of about 50 kilometers operating.

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