NEDA Board okays Metro subway, PNR projects

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade (2nd from left) flanked by (from right) Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, NEDA Director General Ernesto Pernia and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

THE National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board on Tuesday approved the Metro Manila subway project and three projects of the Philippine National Railway (PNR).

The approval of the Mega Manila Subway project followed a presentation of the project by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade before the NEDA Board.

The subway, a project of the DOTr estimated to cost P220 billion to build, is a 25-kilometer underground railway connecting major business districts and government centers in the capital region. It is expected to serve around 370,000 passengers per day in its opening year.

The project is to be funded by official development assistance fund (ODA).

Meanwhile, the approved PNR projects are the PNR North 1 (Manila-Malolos) costing P105.3 billion, PNR North 2 (Manila-Clark) costing P150 billion, and PNR South Commuter (Manila-Los Banos).

PNR North 1 or the North South Commuter Rail is a 38-kilometer mass transportation railway that will reduce travel time between NCR and Malolos from more than one hour 30 minutes to 35 minutes. It is expected to serve more than 300,000 passengers daily in its opening year in 2021.

PNR North 2 is a 69.5 kilometer mass transportation railway that will extend PNR North 1, connecting NCR with Clark International Airport and New Clark City. The project will enable a one-way travel time of 56 minutes between Manila and Clark International Airport (CIA), supporting the development of CIA as a major air transport hub.

PNR South Commuter is a 72-kilometer mass transportation railway from Manila to Los Banos, Laguna. It is expected to have a daily ridership of over 300,000 in its opening year. It will cut travel time between Manila and Calamba by more than half, reducing it from two hours today to under one hour once operational.

All three projects are integrated, electrified, fully elevated, standard-gauge railways for seamless interoperability. The integrated commuter rail network will distribute growth across the entire Greater Capital Region (NCR, Regions III & IV-A) and also to other regions in Luzon. Provisions have also been made for freight rail services to operate. WJG/CNC