Gov’t, ADB ink $1.3B initial financing for Malolos-Clark railway

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 11 2019 08:04 PM | Updated as of Jul 12 2019 05:33 AM

Construction of the Philippine National Railways Clark Phase 1, spanning from Tutuban in Manila to Malolos, Bulacan, launches at Malolos, Bulacan on February 15, 2019. The portion of the North-South Commuter Railway project, consisting of 10 stations, aims to start operations by 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Philippines on Thursday inked the initial $1.3 billion financing deal with the Asian Development Bank for the construction of the Malolos-Clark railway.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and ADB Vice President Ahmed Saeed signed the loan agreement at the Malacañang Palace Thursday.

“Under President Duterte’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program, ADB is considerably scaling up to its own support to the government,” Saeed said during the signing.

The Manila-based lender earlier said it approved financing of $2.75 billion for the railway, which will be distributed in 4 tranches.

The amount is the biggest financing project of ADB for a single infrastructure project, Saeed said.

The 53.1-kilometer train line will connect Malolos in Bulacan to the Clark International Airport in Pampanga. It is expected to cut travel time from Manila to Clark to less than an hour and to serve 342,000 passengers daily.

The Malolos-Clark line is part of the 163-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway Project, which aims to connect New Clark City to Calamba in Laguna. It is expected to be completed by 2025.