The P57.6-billion Subic-Clark Railway Project has moved closer to being rolled out after gaining approval from economic managers, a Cabinet official said.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd told reporters that the project had been greenlit by the National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC CabCom) that he chairs.
“[T]hat will be part of the railway network, connected hopefully when it’s all completed … from Batangas to Subic to Metro Manila,” he added.
The proposed railway, which will link the Subic Bay and Clark freeports and other major economic hubs in Central Luzon, is expected to help make the region into a new growth center that will also decongest Metro Manila.
Funding sources for the project, which is targeted for completion by April 2021, have yet to be determined.
Projects approved by ICC-Cabcom, which is in addition to the Finance chief includes the Executive Secretary and the Socioeconomic, Budget, Trade, Agriculture and Energy secretaries and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor, are subject to final approval by the NEDA Board headed by the President.
Dominguez said the NEDA ICC CabCom also approved an increase in the estimated cost of the Metro Manila Subway Project to to P365.96 billion from P355.59 billion.
“They feel that there will be a P1.3-billion additional cost that had not been originally estimated and this should cover any potential damage to subterranean cables,” he said.
The first phase of the Metro Manila Subway Project will run from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City through the FTI complex in Taguig City up to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque City. The subway will help decongest traffic on EDSA and connect Metro Manila’s major business centers to the country’s premier international gateway.
The first tranche of the 104.5-billion yen (about $929.1 million) loan for the first phase is expected to be signed before the end of the month, contingent on the approval of the Monetary Board and the issuance of a Special Presidential Authority.