THE government is proceeding with a railway project that will aim to cut transit time between Manila and Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga to one hour, an official said on Thursday.
“The plan is to continue the railway project [Manila to Clark] within President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration,” Vivencio Dizon, president and chief executive of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) told reporters.
Dizon said the Manila-Clark railway project is a priority of the Duterte administration.
“Our Japanese partners have submitted a proposal for them to do the feasibility study for the Malolos to Clark segment,” he said, referring to the Japan Overseas Network for Infrastructure and Development.
The BCDA and Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) approved the Clark railway project in April 2015.
The initial plan was just to link Malolos in Bulacan to Clark in a rail project that was expected to cost around P117 billion. However, the DOTC announced last year that they planned to expand the coverage of the project from Malolos to Tutuban in Manila, thereby extending the railway from Manila to Clark.
The Clark Rail segment will then link with the P288-billion North-South Commuter Rail (NSCR) project, which was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority Board in February 2015.
Government officials have said the Philippine economy is expected to reap huge benefits from the NSCR project in Luzon.