Published on : Monday, September 15, 2014
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III today urged the government to speed up the implementation of two major railway projects this year – the 900-kilometer Integrated Luzon Railway (ILR) and the 90-km. commuter link, also known as the airport express rail.
He said a seamless inter-modal land transportation system is the answer to the worsening traffic congestion in the country, and one that would greatly enhance and improve trade opportunities and investments in Northern Luzon and South of Metro Manila.
Pimentel said the big ticket projects, awaiting approval by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), could be placed under the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) program for public bidding as soon as possible to fast track their implementation.
?The proposed ILR would cover the entire north and south networks from Manila to La Union and from Tarlac to Nueva Ecija with possible extension to Cagayan. The south networks would run from Manila to Legaspi City, including a line from Calamba City in Laguna to Batangas City.
Pimentel said the railway project would not only boost the huge economic potentials of Clark Freeport that hosts world-class hotels and resorts, multinational firms and an international airport, but also the economies of Pampanga, Bulacan, Zambales, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Aurora.
The Mindanao legislator also suggested that the seminal plans regarding the circumferential Mindanao railway system should now be pursued concretely by the government so that the people of the island would not feel left out of the national development effort.
?As regards the railway to Clark, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) has proposed to build an elevated commuter rail system above the existing rail of the Philippine National Railway (PNR), providing affordable, comfortable, easy and fast ride for travellers.
It would connect Clark International Airport at the former American Air Base in Pampanga, the other gateway of the country especially to countries in Southeast Asia, to Metro Manila to decongest air travel at the busy Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City.