ADB approves up to $4.3 billion loan for South Commuter Railway project

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 09 2022 05:23 PM | Updated as of Jun 09 2022 07:14 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Asian Development Bank on Thursday said it has approved up to $4.3 billion, or around P227.7 billion, to help finance the construction of the South Commuter Railway Project.

The loan will help build the 55 kilometers of the modern suburban railway line connecting Metro Manila with the city of Calamba which is part of the North-South Commuter Railway network, the multilateral lender said in a statement. 

“The South Commuter Railway Project will provide affordable, safe, reliable, and fast public transport for commuters,” said ADB Vice-President for East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Ahmed M. Saeed. 

“This project represents ADB’s biggest infrastructure investment and reflects our commitment to helping the Philippines attain its goals of reducing poverty, improving the lives of Filipinos, and achieving green, resilient, and high economic growth.”

The project includes the construction of 18 stations, designed to be safe for all including the elderly, women, children and people with disabilities, the ADB said.

It will also be elevated to avoid flooding and avoid disruptions to communities along the route. There will also be a connecting tunnel to allow operations of direct trains from Calamba to stations on the future Metro Manila Subway system, it added.

ADB said it will make the first tranche of $1.75 billion available this year, with the release of the second and third tranches expected in 2024 and 2026, respectively. 

The civil works for the railway viaduct, stations, bridges, tunnels, and depot buildings will be financed by ADB, while the Japan International Cooperation Agency will fund the rolling stock and railway systems, ADB said. 

 

Once completed, the project will cut the travel time between Manila and Calamba by half from the current 2.5 hours.

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