THE North-South Commuter Railway NSCR – the single largest flagship project of the Duterte Administration under the “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) Program, made huge headway, following the unveiling of the first-ever eight-car Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) for the PNR Clark Phase 1 (Tutuban-Malolos), and the contract signing for an additional 304 train cars Friday, March 18, 2022.
The 8-car train set measures 160 meters in length and has an operational speed of 120kph – enabling it to serve over 2,228 passengers per train set.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade affirmed that the much-needed transport infrastructure projects and programs in the country like the mammoth NSCR are being relentlessly pursued for the long-term comfort and convenience of our people, as the administration remains fully committed and all-out in its BBB Program.
“To the Philippines and Filipino people, now you see the project–pray that it is completed, be happy that it has started, and I tell you, President Duterte and his “Build, Build, Build” Team will go all the way to make sure that the projects are completed for the comfort and convenience of the Filipino people,” Sec. Tugade said.
He likewise emphasized the importance of cooperation and partnership in delivering the project and extended his gratitude to the Japanese Government and the local government units.
“Part of that continuing commitment by the Japanese Government through Ambassador Koshikawa to state, demonstrate and affirm with the Filipino people the Japanese Government’s commitments to this desire to have a stronger and firmer relationship between these two sovereigns,” Sec. Tugade said.
He added, “Hindi lilipad the way we wanted to be ang mga proyektong nasyonal kung walang partnership ang local government.”
Acknowledging the passion and determination of Sec. Tugade, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Koshikawa Kazuhiko reaffirmed that Japan will continue to work hand in hand with the Philippines, by providing its utmost support to bring various transformational projects into reality.
“Despite the challenging pandemic situation, important milestones in the transportation projects have been achieved one after another, we attribute this to the strong leadership and determination of Secretary Tugade and I’d like to express my sincerest gratitude to the Secretary. The Japanese government commits its continuous support for the successful completion of the NSCR, and all other railway projects here in the Philippines,” Ambassador Kazuhiko said.
DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan aptly provided an overview of the project, and attested, “With projects approved, financing secured, contracts awarded, and construction and deliveries already ongoing, we are not only on track, but we are also full steam ahead to realizing President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s promise of ushering in the Philippines’ Golden Age of Infrastructure, and delivering a more comfortable life for every Filipino.”
PNR General Manager Junn Magno, on the other hand, said, “Even with the challenges brought about by [the] COVID-19 pandemic and motivated by the strong leadership of our Secretary, today manifests our tangible contribution for the Build, Build, Build Program.”
Congressman Weslie Gatchalian of Valenzuela conveyed his message of gratitude and expressed the full support of the LGU (local government unit) for the project.
“We give our utmost thanks to the Japanese Government, to the good president Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Secretary Art Tugade for making this possible. Mr. Secretary, Valenzuela City reaffirms our full commitment to your project. As we did before in the past years that we had worked together, we will give our utmost support and maximum effort that we could bring in,” Cong. Gatchalian said.
The NSCR encompasses three segments: the PNR Clark Phase 1 (Tutuban-Malolos) – a 38-km. rail line that will connect Tutuban, Manila to Malolos, Bulacan, and will significantly reduce travel time from 1 hour and 30 minutes to just 30 minutes. The PNR Clark Phase 2 (Malolos-Clark), a 53-km rail line leg that will trim down travel time from Malolos City, Bulacan to Clark, Pampanga from 2 hours to just 30-35 minutes. It will also feature the first-ever Airport Railway Express Service that will connect Makati City to Clark International Airport from the current 2-3 hours travel time to just 55 minutes.
As for the 3rd NSCR segment, PNR Calamba (Solis-Calamba), which is a 56-kilometer train line, is the southern line which will connect Metro Manila (Solis Street, Tondo) and Calamba, Laguna, that will speed up travel time to one (1) hour, from the current four (4) hours.
The NSCR Project is a 147-km rail transport route, comprising 37 stations and 464 train cars.
NSCR stretches across 28 cities and municipalities within the three regions of Central Luzon, National Capital Region (NCR), and CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), and is expected to serve over a million passengers a day, once fully operational.