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Philippine Finance Secretary Mr. Carlos Dominguez III and Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Mr. Ahmed M. Saeed have signed a $1.3 billion loan, the first tranche of a total $2.75 billion facility, for the Malolos–Clark Railway Project.
Saeed said: “Our work in the Philippines has always held a special place in the history of ADB. Now, under President Duterte’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program, ADB is considerably scaling up its own support to the government. The Malolos–Clark Railway Project is ADB’s single largest infrastructure project financing ever at $2.75 billion. We are pleased to be supporting this important flagship project in our host country.”
The Malolos–Clark railway is part of the Philippine government’s North–South Commuter Railway project, which aims to link New Clark City to Calamba by 2025. The project will use cutting-edge technology to build an elevated railway line, with a maximum train speed of 160 kilometres per hour, to help ease chronic road congestion in and around Metro Manila, reduce air pollution, cut the costs of transport and logistics, and encourage economic growth and a population shift outside the capital.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is co-financing the project with an additional financing of up to $2 billion for the rolling stock and the railway systems.
The Malolos–Clark project is a result of close collaboration between ADB, JICA, and the Department of Transportation. During project preparation, a joint technical team from the department and the two institutions conducted regular “Build, Build, Build” meetings, with reporting to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade. ADB’s safeguard and resettlement policies were adopted and are being implemented for the project.
Civil works contracts under the project are being bidded out, with the first contract awards expected in the fourth quarter of 2019.
ADB assistance to the Philippines is expected to hit a record $2.5 billion for 2019, more than double its average annual financing of $1 billion in the last three years.
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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