Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan discusses updates on railway projects being implemented by the Department of Transportation during a press briefing held Monday in Valenzuela City. (PNA photo by Aerol John B. Patena) 

MANILA -- The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is set to award the contract for the procurement of trains for the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project's Tutuban-Malolos segment by end of May or early June, an official said.

DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is currently conducting its evaluation on the bid proposal submitted by the consortium of Sumitomo Corp. and Japan Transport Engineering Company (J-TREC).

“We are set to award the contract, if not this month, by next month. The bid submission was in April and the financial evaluation report is now with JICA. After JICA’s concurrence, we will issue the notice of award, sign the contract, and issue the notice to proceed,” Batan said in a press briefing held in Valenzuela City on Monday.

The contract is set to be awarded to the Sumitomo-J-TREC Consortium for the procurement of 13 train sets with eight cars each.

The DOTr also plans to acquire 38 train sets for the Malolos-Clark segment within the third quarter of the year and seven train sets for the airport express trains, which will run up to 160 km. per hour from Clark International Airport to Buendia in 55 minutes.

The DOTr has awarded the contract for the first construction package of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 1 to the joint venture of DM Consunji, Inc. (DMCI) and Taisei Corp. last Monday.

The package involves the construction of six stations -- Solis, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Meycauayan, Marilao, and Bocaue – as well as civil works for the elevated structures and a depot in Valenzuela.

Its second package, which covers the construction work for three stations -- Balagtas, Guiguinto, and Malolos -- was awarded to the consortium of Sumitomo-Mitsui Construction Co. Ltd. last February.

The 147-km. NSCR project, estimated to cost about PHP777.55 billion, will have 36 stations from Clark International Airport to Calamba, Laguna to be funded through official development assistance by JICA.

It will connect PNR Clark Phase 1 (Tutuban-Malolos), PNR Clark Phase 2 (Malolos-Clark), and the PNR Calamba project, which will run from Manila to Calamba.

Once fully operational, the NSCR line will serve 700,000 passengers daily, Batan said.

It will also link with existing railway lines LRT-1, LRT-2, MRT-3, and the Metro Manila Subway. (PNA)