Manila-Clark railway project to start in 2012
The feasibility study for an express railway line connecting Metro Manila to the Clark special economic zone will start early next year, with the bidding for the project to take place not long after that.
Speaking before British investors at the Public-Private Partnership investment briefing on Monday, Public Works Assistant Secretary Catalina Cabral said the express rail could be placed on top of the existing Philippine National Railways line or on either side of the expressways.
This would depend on the results of the feasibility study and on the recommendation of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC), she said.
She explained that the PNR owned the air rights above its tracks, so any new infrastructure to be built over it should have the approval of the DoTC, to which the PNR is an attached agency.
Once the DOTC’s approval has been secured, she said a proposal would be submitted to the National Economic and Development Authority for processing. This would take around three months.
The project could then be offered for auction after that, she said.
In an earlier statement, Bases Conversion and Development Authority president and chief executive Arnel Paciano Casanova said the government agency was seeking funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the conduct of a feasibility study on the Metro Manila-Clark express rail.
Other project feasibility studies for which the BCDA sought JICA funding, he said, were the planned monorail loop system in South Metro Manila—which would connect the Makati, Taguig and Pasay central business districts to one another—and the Clark International Airport development.
Such studies required an investment of about P50 million, he said.
Apart from the Metro Manila-Clark express rail, another infrastructure that could be built over the PNR tracks was the road linking the North and South Luzon Expressways, Cabral said.
She said the DPWH would be seeking by mid-2012 challengers to Metro Pacific Tollways Corp.’s unsolicited proposal to build the 13-kilometer elevated Nlex-Slex connector road.
The connector road could reduce travel time between the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 and Clark to just 70 minutes from the usual three hours.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.