Monday, February 18, 2019

PNR Clark Phase 1 Breaks Ground; Tutuban to Malolos Leg Now in Full Construction

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The North-South Commuter Railway Project is going full steam ahead, with its Tutuban to Malolos leg, known as PNR Clark Phase 1, commencing full-blast construction today, 15 February 2019.

PNR Clark Phase 1, a 37.6-kilometer mass railway transportation, is one of the flagship projects of the Duterte administration implemented by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR).

It will have 13 train sets, composed of 8 cars each, which will be running at a maximum speed of 120 kilometers per hour.

PNR Clark Phase 1 will have a total of ten (10) stations, namely, Tutuban, Solis, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Meycauayan, Marilao, Bocaue, Balagtas, Guiguinto, and Malolos station; and will house a depot at a 14-hectare lot in Valenzuela City.

Once completed, this project will reduce travel time between Manila and Bulacan from one (1) hour and 45 minutes to just 35 minutes, serving approximately over 300,000 passengers daily.

PNR Clark Phase 1 will be seamlessly connected with the PNR Clark Phase 2 (Malolos-Clark) and PNR Calamba, forming one integrated commuter railway system that will serve commuters traveling to, from, and within NCR, Region III, and Region IV-A.

Support Mechanisms for Affected Communities
To date, proper resettlement is ongoing as part of the government social responsibility for approximately 300 informal settler families (ISFs) along the project alignment.

In fact, the DOTr has entered into and approved a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the PNR, National Housing Authority (NHA), Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and Local Government Units (LGU’s) for the relocation and resettlement of Informal Settler Families (ISFs) in Caloocan, Manila, Valenzuela and Guiguinto.

Enhanced Mobility and Connectivity through Build Build Build

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade led the groundbreaking ceremony, together with Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative Yoshio Wada, Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan, PNR General Manager Junn Magno, Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, and officials from the public and private sector.

“This is the President’s gift not only to the people of Bulacan and Pampanga, but more importantly, to the people of this country, in high hopes of providing them with an efficient and comfortable mode of transport. The President would like to reiterate his commitment, that we are committed to give a comfortable life without any temptation or badge of corruption,” Secretary Tugade said.

‘Fast and sure’

After signing the contract with Sumitomo Mitsui Construction on 23 January 2019, advance works already began to make way for full construction.

“During my watch, I want this system to be fast and sure, and I expect that the philosophy of ‘fast and sure’ will be implanted in this project so that this portion will be completed by the last quarter of 2021,” the transportation chief emphasized.

According to Undersecretary Batan, as of today, 91% of the PNR Clark Phase 1 alignment has already been cleared

“This is testament to the effectiveness of the strategy that Secretary Tugade launched last January 5, 2018, which is to pursue as much advance works as we can, as early as we can, so that by the time that contracts are signed with our contractors, construction works can immediately begin,” Undersecretary Batan pointed out.

Fruits of PHL-Japan partnership
After the groundbreaking ceremony of the PNR Clark Phase 1, the groundbreaking of the Metro Manila Subway will commence on 26 February 2019.

“Today, we celebrate and affirm our relationship with the Japanese government, as we are working very closely together with multiple projects, and we are starting those projects now to the surprise and the pleasant acceptance of the Filipino people,” Secretary Tugade said.

“Utilizing Japanese technologies and years of railway expertise, the NSCR project will not only revive traditional railroads, the PNR, but also build a state-of-the-art rapid transit system that is on par with international standards,” Ambassador Haneda expressed.

DOTr Sec. Tugade, together with Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative Yoshio Wada, Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co. Ltd. President and CEO Hideo Arai, Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan, PNR General Manager Junn Magno, Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, and other government officials and stakeholders, lower the time capsule into the construction site ground during the groundbreaking ceremony for the PNR Clark Phase 1 (Tutuban-Malolos).

Officials perform the Kagami Biraki or the Sake Barrel Lid Opening Ceremony which is a Japanese tradition that represents an opening to harmony and good fortune for great success in the future. Participants wear a "happi" coat which is designed as a symbol of unity.

DOTr Sec. Tugade, together with the assistance from the project's contractor, Sumitomo-Mitsui Construction Co. Ltd., leads the ceremonial piling which marks the start of the full-blast construction of the PNR Clark Phase 1.

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