THE Transportation department said Thursday that it plans to start construction of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 2 rail line connecting Malolos to Clark within the fourth quarter, as the remaining three contract packages have been awarded.
“We are starting construction by November (or) December this year with the mobilization of our three contractors with partial operability scheduled in 2023 and full completion scheduled 2025,” Transportation Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John R. Batan said after the virtual signing of the three remaining contracts Thursday.
The flagship project is co-funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the department said.
The signing of the three civil works contracts indicates that construction will begin soon, the ADB said in a statement.
PNR Clark Phase 2 is a 54-kilometer rail line, which will connect Malolos, Bulacan to Clark International Airport, the Transportation department said.
“Once partially operable by 2022, travel time will be trimmed down to just 30-35 minutes, from the original 1 hour and 30 minutes. This leg, which is now 27.07% completed, will also feature the country’s first airport rail express,” it added.
“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 12-24 months,” ADB Director-General for Southeast Asia Ramesh Subramaniam said.
The first two contracts were signed on Aug. 1.
The companies that will work on the project are Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd., Dong-ah Geological Engineering Company Ltd., Megawide Construction Corp., Acciona Construction Philippines, Inc., Daelim Industrial Co., Ltd., Italian-Thai Development Public Company Ltd., EEI Corp., and POSCO Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd.
PNR Clark Phase 2 (Malolos-Clark) is part of the planned 163-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway Project.
Another part of the project is the 38-kilometer PNR Clark Phase 1 (Tutuban-Malolos), which will connect Tutuban, Manila to Malolos. Once completed, it will reduce travel time from about 1 hour and 30 minutes to 35 minutes. The project is now 40.48% complete. It is expected to be partially operable by December next year, the TransThe 56-kilometer PNR Calamba (Solis-Calamba), which will connect Solis, Manila to Calamba, Laguna is expected to be completed by 2024. The completion rate of this segment is estimated at 20.42%. Once completed, it will shorten travel time to 1 hour from 3 hours, the department said. — Arjay L. Balinbin