DOTr chief says new railway projects seen to boost mobility, PH economy
MANILA, Philippines — The North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) and the South Long Haul (SLH) rail will revive the Philippines’ rail industry, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Friday.
According to Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, the projects will provide world-class railways that will run from the northern to the southern parts of Luzon.
“Tayo ay gagawa ng isang railroad network na world-class – maipagmamalaki hindi lamang sa Asya, kundi pati na sa buong mundo. Mga bago, moderno, at mabilis na tren na tatakbo mula Clark hanggang Calamba patuloy hanggang Bicol,” Sec. Bautista said.
(We will build a world-class railway network that we can be proud of not just in Asia, but with the whole world. New, modern, and fast trains will run from Clark, to Calamba, and to Bicol.)
The 147-kilometer NSCR will have 35 stations spanning from Calamba, Laguna, to Clark, Pampanga, and is expected travel time between the two provinces in less than two hours, from the present travel time of four hours and thirty minutes.
Meanwhile, the 577-kilometer SLH will have 33 stations from Manila to Legazpi, cutting travel time from 18 hours to six hours, in the regular commuter trains, and four hours and thirty minutes, in the line’s express trains.
Recently, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) have agreed to work together in promoting the use of renewable energy in the PNR.
CCC Commissioner Albert dela Cruz Sr. was accompanied by GGGI Assistant Director-General Dr. Kyung-Nam Shin and Green Investment Services Director Naishant Bhardwaj to a meeting with PNR Chairman Michael Ted Macapagal to discuss potential collaboration that would help the PNR in its initiative to promote the use of green sources of energy in the railway system in the country.
GGGI is an international intergovernmental treaty-based organization based in Seoul, South Korea, that works with governments and the private sector to advance green growth policies and initiatives with a particular focus on using renewable energy to achieve climate resilience and sustainable development.
During the meeting, the potential for developing large scale renewable energy programs were discussed for the PNR as this would help in reducing GCG emissions not only in the railway system, but in the entire transportation sector.
“Their visit is quite timely,” says Macapagal. “The PNR is currently moving out of the old diesel locomotive technology and will soon be running electric trains all over the NSCR project and possibly in the entire country.”