Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista signed a 52 billion Philippine peso railway project over a combined length of 14.9 kilometers of elevated and ground-level rail tracks.

He said in a statement that the project includes the construction of six modern train stations at Blumentritt, Buendia, EDSA, Senate, Bicutan, and Sucat near Malacañang Palace. The signing ceremony took place on Thursday.

“Today, we sign the contract for three contract packages with two joint venture companies who must be able to construct a combined length of 14.9 kilometers of elevated and ground level rail tracks including six modern train stations. These stations to be equipped with exciting features will rise at Blumentritt, Buendia, EDSA, Senate, Bicutan, and Sucat,” Bautista said.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. served as witness in the formal signing of the three rail contract packages—the S-01, S-03A and S-03C under the North and South Commuter Railway Projects (NSCRP).

He said that in line with the administration’s goal of transport interconnectivity, some of these stations would be linked to other rails systems.

“We are grateful that the President is always supportive of our rail transport initiatives,” he said.

“Blumentritt stations will have an elevated pedestrian connection with LRT-1,  EDSA station will also have elevated pedestrian connection to MRT-3 Magallanes station, Senate station will be near the subway station, Bicutan station will share the same platform with the Bicutan subway station,” he added.

Bautista said the civil work contract packages would have a combined cost of more than P50 billion.

“We will make sure this amount will be used by the winning contractors to build a world-class railway light equipped with the most modern facilities,” Bautista said.

Bautista said the contractors must be able to build with least disruption with Metro Manila’s daily routine, stating all it takes is inter-agency coordination and communication.

Contractors, he explained, must meet schedules so the whole NSCR projects can be completed as promised. He emphasized that the government was grateful for the unwavering support of financial partners of the rail projects.

“We will not tire thanking our financial partners for their support  for this flagship rail project. The Asian Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the governments of Indonesia and Australia. We reach closer to completing this longest rail system of the country through their assistance,” Bautista said.

Bautista said the social dimension of the project demonstrates that building railways benefits not just commuter but also communities that lie along near the rail lines.

The construction of the contract packages under the SCRP would served as an integral part of the 147 kilometer-long North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) that stretches from Clark, Pampanga to Calamba, Laguna as it traverses the Metro Manila.

Moreover, the SCRP aims to decongest Metro Manila’s main thoroughfares, provide comfortable transport alternatives and spur economic activities in the area, fulfilling the President’s commitment in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) last year.

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