Gov't inks deals for South Commuter Railway project

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 6)— The government on Thursday signed contracts for the South Commuter Railway Project (SCRP), which is part of what is trumpeted as the country's largest rail transit system.

During the contract signing ceremony in Laguna, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the SCRP will stretch from Manila to Laguna. It is projected to cut travel time from three hours to only one hour.

SCRP is part of the 147-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) system, described as the "largest railway line" in the Philippines, according to Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista.

Marcos also said NSCR is the biggest infrastructure project funded by the Asian Development Bank in the region through loans. It is co-financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The contracts signed during the event amounted to a total of ₱90 billion, Bautista said.

The contract packages include the construction of 31.5 kilometers of railway viaducts, nine elevated stations, and one train depot covering the Muntinlupa to Calamba portion.

"With the signing of these packages, we demonstrate to our people that we are serious about pursuing large projects for infrastructure to foster growth and revitalize our economy," Marcos said.

The entire NSCR will stretch from Clark International Airport in Pampanga to Calamba City in Laguna. It is expected to be fully operational by 2028.

The government also projects that the construction of the rail system will generate 110,000 direct and indirect jobs.

In a statement, the DOTr said that the construction of the Muntinlupa to Calamba portion will commence within the year, while works are ongoing along the Clark International Airport to Valenzuela portion.