DEPARTMENT of Transportation Sec. Art Tugade wants drivers and conductors of public utility vehicles as well as overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were displaced by the COVID-pandemic, to be hired and work in Department of Transportation (DOTr) projects such as the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 1 Project.
During the inspection of the Valenzuela and Bulacan segments of the PNR Clark Phase 1 Project Wednesday (May 26,2021), Tugade said some former 200 OFWs are now working in the project as he encouraged more displaced OFWs to join.
“Nakita n’yo mga tao dito? Sila ay mga Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). Kulang-kulang 200 silang nagta-trabaho dito. Ang sabi ko sa mga contractor, paramihin n’yo pa. Kung mayroon kayong kapitbahay, kamag-anak, mahal sa buhay, kaibigan na gustong maghanapbuhay, papuntahin n’yo dito. Kung qualified, tutulungan natin. Para nang sa gayon ‘yung 200 ay madagdagan pa,” Sec. Art Tugade said.
The DOTr Secretary also called on other displaced workers in the transport sector, including PUV drivers who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, to work in DOTr projects.
“Kung may mga kakilala kayong mga kunduktor, mga jeepney driver na gustong maghanapbuhay, kung qualified eh pumunta dito at bibigyan natin sila ng pagkakataon,” Sec. Tugade added.
At least 7,500 workers were employed during the construction of the project, while 2,000 additional jobs will be made available once the project becomes operational, according to Sec. Tugade.
The PNR Clark Phase 1, the railway system that will connect Tutuban in Manila and Malolos in Bulacan, is now at 45.82% overall progress rate. Upon completion, the 38-kilometer rail line is aimed to carry 300,000 passengers daily, and shorten travel time from Malolos, Bulacan to Tutuban, Manila in just 35 minutes, as compared to the previous 1 hour and 30 minutes.
The PNR Clark Phase 1 forms part of the big-ticket 148-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project under the massive “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration.