Construction begins for 6 more train stations, depot of PNR Clark Phase 1

VALENZUELA CITY – Actual construction work for six more train stations of the PNR Clark Phase 1 commenced today, 20 May 2019, with the signing of the contract for Package 1 of the rail line.

PNR Clark Phase 1 is a 37.6-kilometer railway that will run from Tutuban, Manila to Malolos, Bulacan.

The first package of the railway project consists of civil works for elevated structures, a depot in Valenzuela, and the construction of six stations, namely, Solis, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Meycauayan, Marilao, and Bocaue.

Its second contract package, which covers the construction works for three stations, namely, Balagtas, Guiginto, and Malolos, started last February.

Once PNR Clark Phase 1 is completed and fully operable by the last quarter of 2021, travel time from Manila to Bulacan will be reduced from one (1) hour and 30 minutes to just 35 minutes. This rail line is expected to serve 300,000 passengers daily.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade led the Start of Works Ceremony at the NSCR Valenzuela Depot, together with Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan, Undersecretary for Finance Garry De Guzman, Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Reinier Paul Yebra, Philippine National Railways (PNR) Chairman Roberto Lastimoso, PNR General Manager Junn Magno, Assistant Secretary for Mindanao Projects Eymard Eje, and Assistant Secretary for Maritime Lino Dabi.

The transportation chief signed the contract on behalf of DOTr, while Taisei Corporation Managing Executive Officer Keiji Hirano for Taisei - D.M. Consunji Inc. (DMCI) Joint Venture. DMCI President and CEO Jorge Consunji witnessed the contract signing.

“Last February, we started the actual construction of 3 stations, from Bocaue to Malolos. Now we are here to start the second phase of PNR Clark 1, from Tutuban to Bocaue. Masasakyan at ma-eenjoy na ito ng ating mga kababayan, as today is a humble response to the President’s order to improve Filipino lives through enhanced mobility and connectivity,” Secretary Tugade expressed.

PNR Clark Phase 1 forms part of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Project, a mega rail network that aims to seamlessly integrate the National Capital Region (NCR), Region III, and Region IV-A, through PNR Clark Phases 1 and 2 (Tutuban-Malolos and Malolos-Clark) and PNR Calamba (Manila-Laguna).

According to Undersecretary Batan, the entire NSCR line aims to serve 700,000 passengers daily once fully operational.

“The North-South Commuter Railway System, or the combined and interoperable PNR Clark and PNR Calamba Projects, demonstrates the scale of what the DOTr, under the strong leadership of Secretary Tugade, is working triple, if not quadruple, time to deliver. It is indeed a most ambitious project that will usher in the Philippines’ `Golden Age of Infrastructure,` and that will deliver our President`s promise of a more comfortable life to every Filipino,” Undersecretary Batan said.

Right of Way 90.1% Free and Clear

During the ceremony, station designs were also unveiled, including the Right of Way (ROW) status of the stations.

Secretary Tugade said the DOTr and the PNR are expediting the acquisition of ROW to complete the construction of the stations.

“As I speak today, we have completed 90.1% of the Right of Way. We have 443,000 square meters finalized and clear. With the efforts of the PNR and the DOTr, in a matter of time, the properties will be delivered free and clear so that the Filipino people can ride and experience the rail system ahead of time,” Secretary Tugade said.

DMCI President and CEO Consunji added that together with Taisei Corporation, they will deliver their commitment once the ROW is free and clear.

“DMCI, together with Taisei, is proud in welcoming the changes to advance the progress of our nation. Secretary Tugade, you give us the Right of Way, and we will deliver right away,” Consunji said.

Partnership for a better mass transit system

Also in attendance at today’s Start of Works Ceremony was Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative Yoshio Wada, who commended the Philippine government, through the DOTr, for its efforts in improving mass transit in the country.

“This is a good example of having a stronger collaboration not just between our two governments but with the private sector, as well. It has always been a great honor for JICA to be part of the Philippine government’s undertakings and be given the opportunity to work with the Department of Transportation in improving the daily commuting experience of the Filipinos,” Chief Representative Wada said.

The PNR Clark Phase 1 is funded by an Official Development Assistance from the Government of Japan, through JICA.