1st phase of Manila-Clark rail project to start January ’18
The Department of Transportation said it would soon start the first phase of a massive train line linking Manila to Clark in Pampanga City where the Clark International Airport is located.
The first phase of the project is the 38-kilometer line from Tutuban in Manila to Malolos in Bulacan. This is set to begin by no later than Jan. 6, 2018, the DOTr said.
The project is part of the 106-km Manila to New Clark City train line, which will cost more than P300 billion and will be funded by a loan from the Japanese government.
The Tutuban-Malolos segment will be completed by 2021 while the Malolos to Clark section will be done by 2022, the DOTr said.
“The DOTr will continue ensuring successful, competitive and corruption-free bidding processes as we deliver on the Duterte administration’s Build Build Build program,” DOTr assistant secretary for railways John Batan said in a statement.
The department said it signed an agreement Friday with NSTren Consortium as project construction supervision consultant.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the project was long overdue.
Also known as the North-South Commuter Railway Project (NSCR), the Tutuban-Malolos segment was approved by the board of the National Economic and Development Authority in early 2015.
The Philippines and the Japan International Cooperation Agency signed an almost $2-billion loan agreement for the Tutuban to Malolos stretch that same year.
According to the DOTr, the NSTren consultancy was originally programmed to be procured over a period of one and a half years, or from October 2015 to March 2017.
“With the joint efforts of DOTr, Philippine National Railways and Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service (DBM-PS), a successful and transparent bidding was completed in four months, with a final contract price that is 20-percent lower as budgeted in the loan agreement,” the DOTr said.
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