• P17-B budget for train expansion projects hailed

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    A lawmaker over the weekend said he supports President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to invest an additional P17 billion to expand capacity of trains that would ferry passengers to and from Metro Manila.

    “Fresh government subsidies to passenger trains are imperative to cope with the growing demand for high-speed and affordable public transportation,” according to Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza, also House senior deputy minority leader.

    “Once we have more trains all around, people are bound to rely less on cars when going to work or school, simply because they are able to save a lot of time and cut down on fuel as well as parking expenses,” Atienza said in a statement.

    Atienza said the proposed P3.767-trillion national budget for 2018 has some P17 billion in new appropriations to support rail projects.

    Among these projects are the capacity increase for Metro Rail Transit 3; Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite Extension Project; Unified Common Station Project; LRT Line 2 Rizal Extension Project; LRT Line 2 Manila Extension Project from Recto Avenue to Pier 4 North Harbor; and North-South Railway Project Phase 2.

    Atienza noted environmental benefits of using electrical trains such as improving air quality in Metro Manila.

    “As we open up our energy markets, we also look forward to the day when our elevated commuter trains will be driven not just by any electricity, but by electricity specially generated from clean renewable sources,” he said.

    The Philippines earlier was able to secure an official development assistance from Japan amounting to P1.48 trillion to fund infrastructure projects including the Metro Manila Subway Project and the Philippine National Railway Commuter Railway Project.

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