Palace calls NSCR an engine for job creation, regional dev’t

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. touted the job-creation potential of the 147-kilometer (km) North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project, after witnessing the contract signing on Thursday.

He was speaking at the ceremonial signing of the North-South Commuter Railway Project-South Commuter Section Contract Packages (CPs) S-02 and S-03B at the Palace.

CP S-02 involves the construction of track and stations along España, Sta. Mesa and Paco, Manila, while CP S-03B involves building a tunnel linking the NSCR with the Metro Manila Subway Project.

CP S-02 is a component of the South Commuter Railway Project (SCRP), a section of the NSCR.

“As the civil works for these contract packages commence, we expect not only the generation of more than 2,000 jobs, but also the creation of other opportunities and livelihood during its construction,” Mr. Marcos said in his speech.

The completion of the full NSCR project will lead to the “decongestion of our main thoroughfares, especially within Metro Manila,” he said.

Mr. Marcos said the railway system will also spur economic activity in the connected regions. It will also “promote environmental sustainability and public health.”

The P873-billion NSCR project, which is being co-financed by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, connects Clark in Central Luzon and Calamba City, Laguna.

The line will have 35 stations and three depots, according to the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

“CPs S-02 and S-03b are part of the SCRP,” it said. CPs S-02 and S-03b, which will be financed by the Asian Development Bank, were awarded on Feb. 17 and Feb. 20, respectively.

Upon completion in 2029, the NSCR system will carry 800,000 passengers daily, cutting the travel time between Clark International Airport and Calamba City, Laguna, to two hours from four.

The 55.6 km-SCRP, on the other hand, will have 19 stations and one depot at Barangay Banlic, Calamba City.

It will reduce travel time between Blumentritt, Manila and Calamba City, Laguna to one hour and 12 minutes from two hours and 30 minutes.

“Estimated to generate 35,000 construction jobs upon implementation, the civil works for the SCRP are targeted to commence by June 2023,” the PCO said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza