Procurement for the mostly China-funded reconstruction of the Philippine National Railways’ Bicol Express later this year will be upfront, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said.
In an interview, Transportation Assistant Secretary for Rails Timothy John Batan said the loan China would give would be in “the exact amount of the winning contractor’s bid.”
The project, which will connect Manila to Sorsogon province, would cost P170 billion.
It is expected to be completed in 2021.
China is “very good in long-haul” projects, Batan said.
According to him, the East Asian country will also fund the remaining construction phases of the 1,530-kilometer Mindanao Railway project.
Funding for the project’s first phase came from the General Appropriation Act, he said.
Once finished, this project will link the cities of Davao, General Santos, Cotabato, Iligan, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan and Surigao, among others.
Only phase one would be completed during President Rodrigo Duterte’s term, DoTr had said.
This phase is a 105-kilometer segment connecting the cities of Tagum in Davao del Norte province, Digos in Davao del Sur province, and Davao.
The other phases will be built in the next 10 years by different contractors, DOTr said.
The department eyes building 1900 kilometers of railways under the Duterte’s administration “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program. It currently has 77.