July 11, 2019
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered on Thursday to fast-track the implementation of the Japanese co-financed $6-billion Malolos-Clark Railway Project ( MCRP).
Duterte made the directive to the Department of Transportation after he witnessed the signing of a loan agreement for the project between the Department of Finance and the Asian Development Bank in a ceremony in Malacanang.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and ADB Ahmed Saeed inked the $1.3 billion loan, the first tranche of the total $2.75 billion facility of the Manila-based lending agency for the project.
"I am directing the Department of Transportation to fast-track the completion of the MCRP and observe the highest quality standards as we complete this railway project," Duterte said in a speech.
He said the 53-kilometer MCRP, worth more than $6 billion, will be the country's first airport express railway service once completed.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said they hope to complete the project by the end of 2021.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is co-financing the project with an additional financing of up to $2 billion for the rolling stock and the railway systems.
The Malolos–Clark project is a result of close collaboration between ADB, JICA, and DOTr.
The Malolos–Clark railway is part of the Philippine government’s North–South Commuter Railway project, which aims to link New Clark City to Calamba by 2025.
The project will use cutting-edge technology to build an elevated railway line, with a maximum train speed of 160 kilometers per hour, to help ease chronic road congestion in and around Metro Manila, reduce air pollution, cut the costs of transport and logistics, and encourage economic growth and a population shift outside the capital. Celerina Monte/DMS
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