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Saturday, September 28, 2019

DOTr Rail Sector Meets Bulacan Local Execs to Expedite Completion of Railway Projects



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In order to promote transparency and coordination on matters of mutual concern, officials from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) headed by Secretary Arthur Tugade met with provincial and local officials from the government of Bulacan today, 25 September 2019, to discuss how to smoothly and efficiently implement railway projects in the province.

During the meeting, Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando expressed his gratitude to Secretary Tugade and the DOTr for ensuring constant coordination with officials and stakeholders to expeditiously realize various transport infrastructure projects in Bulacan.

“Napaka-productive ng ginagawang ito ni Sec. Tugade at nako-coordinate kaming lahat. At least ngayon, alam na namin kung ano ‘yung mga development na mangyayari. Kaya ganun na lang ang pasasalamat namin kay Secretary Art, kay Pangulong Duterte at sa administrasyong ito,” Governor Fernando added.

For his part, Secretary Tugade assured local and provincial officials that the ongoing projects of the government will continue to move forward until completion.

“Makakaasa po kayong itong railway project natin ay hindi lang po ‘drawing’ ito. Ongoing construction na po kami para sa mas maginhawang pamumuhay ng ating mga kababayan dito sa Bulacan,” Secretary Tugade said.

Railway projects in Bulacan

During the meeting, transport officials focused on two (2) railway projects, the PNR Clark Phase 1 and PNR Clark Phase 2, as part of the 147-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project.

For PNR Clark Phase 1, Secretary Tugade reported that the rail line from Tutuban, Manila to Malolos, Bulacan is 2-3 months ahead of its construction schedule. Additionally, Secretary Tugade announced that 24/7 construction works have been implemented since July in order to achieve partial operability by the fourth quarter of 2021.

Secretary Tugade also mentioned that bidding for PNR Clark Phase 2, running from Malolos to Clark has received worldwide attention, following the recent opening of bids that were participated by nine (9) international and two (2) local companies.

Addressing concerns

Local officials, for their part, raised concerns and clarifications on certain issues such as the provision of accessibility for senior citizens and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in train stations, proper relocation of affected families, desired designs per train station based on the history of each municipality, provision of an easier access to the airport, and reduction of road congestion.

In response, both Secretary Tugade and PNR General Manager Junn Magno acknowledged these concerns and vowed to accommodate solutions that will expedite the completion of projects.

"Kung mayroon na po kayong mga ideya, i-submit niyo na po in writing upang masamahan po namin kayo at magawan ng paraan ang inyong mga suhestyon," GM Magno said.

The transportation chief likewise suggested the conduct of regular meetings to fast-track railway projects and immediately address lingering issues.

“Gusto kong mangyari, huwag ito ‘yung una at huling diyalogo natin. Kung maaari, gumawa tayo ng agarang schedule, para pagkatapos ng tatlo o apat na buwan, magkikita tayo para sa ganun, ‘yung ating pag-implement ng mga proyektong ito, kung mayroong mga red flag isyu na dapat sagutin, mapupunto po natin yan,” Secretary Tugade expressed.

Other officials present during the meeting were Bulacan Vice Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, CIBAC Party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna, Balagtas Mayor Eladio Gonzales Jr., Guiguinto Mayor Ambrosio Cruz, Marilao Mayor Ricardo Silvestre, Meycauayan Mayor Linabelle Villarica, Angat Mayor Leonardo de Leon, Calumpit Mayor Jessie de Jesus, Malolos Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian, and DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark de Leon.

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