During the groundbreaking ceremony held yesterday in Marilao, Bulacan for the Advance Contruction Mobilization for Phase 1 of the PNR Clark Railway, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the government has decided to begin pre-construction works such as site clearing, realignment or relocation of utility lines, as well as acquisition of right of way to get the project moving. File
DOTr groundbreaks Manila -Clark rail project
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - January 6, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) started yesterday pre-construction activities for the first phase of the Philippine National Railways line linking Metro Manila to Clark.

During the groundbreaking ceremony held yesterday in Marilao, Bulacan for the Advance Contruction Mobilization for Phase 1 of the PNR Clark Railway, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the government has decided to begin pre-construction works such as site clearing, realignment or relocation of utility lines, as well as acquisition of right of way to get the project moving.

Also gracing the event was Sen. Joel Villanueva, who cited the PNR Manila-Clark project as a boon to economic activity and to commuters.

“The construction of Clark Railway increases connectivity within Metro Manila and the Central Region. Not only will this afford convenience to our commuters, but it will also improve economic activity in the area,” Villanueva said.

The project is seen to ease   vehicular traffic in Metro Manila and speed up travel to north of the metropolis, especially key areas of Central Luzon where modern townships are being developed.

Tugade said the DOTr  wants  to  award the general construction contract for the project   by April.

The first phase of the PNR Clark Railway covers the 38-kilometer segment from Tutuban in Manila to Malolos in Bulacan.

The Tutuban to Malolos segment, which is also known as the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project, was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority Board in February 2015.

In November of the same year, the Japanese official development assistance loan for the project was signed.

The Tutuban to Malolos segment will have 10 stations and is expected to serve 340,000 passengers daily.

Once the project is completed, commuters from Tutuban are expected to reach Malolos in 35 minutes.

Japan International Cooperation Agency representative Susumo Ito said in the same event the project would be a major game changer in terms of opening opportunities in the economies surrounding of  Metro Manila, particularly in the North.  

He said the project would enhance mobility of Filipinos and encourage new investments into the country.

 “We are confident that NSCR project delivers speedy, safer and more comfortable journeys to many people,” he said.

The Tutuban to Malolos segment is targeted to be partially completed by 2020 and fully operational by 2021. – With Ramon Lazaro

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