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Philippines, China set to sign P175 billion railway loan deal
The project, a component of the PNR Luzon System program, is among the big-ticket infrastructure projects to be funded under an Official Development Assistance (ODA) agreement, a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) official who asked not to be identified said yesterday.
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Philippines, China set to sign P175 billion railway loan deal

Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - November 6, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to sign this month the P175-billion Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Railways project, a 639-kilometer standard gauge railway line between Manila and Bicol.

The project, a component of the PNR Luzon System program, is among the big-ticket infrastructure projects to be funded under an Official Development Assistance (ODA) agreement, a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) official who asked not to be identified said yesterday.

The official said Xi’s visit will take place after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit from Nov. 12 to 18 in Papua New Guinea.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, the project’s original proponent, said the modern railway project would be a major backbone of economic development in Southern Tagalog and Bicol with spillover benefits to other regions of the country.

“The PNR South Railways project, which we have tediously designed as a key that will unlock the economic potentials of the vast Southern Tagalog and Bicol areas, is now finally coming to realization,” Salceda said.

Once completed, the project will enhance the connectivity between major airports and seaports in Southern Tagalog and the Bicol regions and as well as serve untapped areas along the route, he said.

The PNR South Railway segment is expected to cut Manila-Legazpi travel down to less than five hours. It runs from Manila to Matnog in Sorsogon with nine major stations – Manila, Los Baños, Batangas City, Lucena, Gumaca, Naga City, Legazpi City, Sorsogon City and Matnog.

Its construction is set to start in the second quarter of 2019 and will be partially operational by the second quarter of 2022.

The DFA said the project forms part of the massive “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program of the Duterte administration. 

CHINA MANILA-BICOL ROUTE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS PHILIPPINES
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