FIRST IN THE COUNTRY. The excavation of the country’s first-ever airport underground railway of the Philippine North Railway in front of the new terminal building of the Clark International Airport (CRK) in Pampanga. The underground train station is part of the 53-km. PNR Clark Phase 2 (Malolos-Clark segment) project. (Photo courtesy of the DOTr)

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga – The Philippine North Railway (PNR) project inside this Freeport, which will feature the country’s first-ever airport railway express service, will unlock economic growth and the employment potentials of Central Luzon, especially Bulacan and Pampanga, under the “Build, Build, Build” project, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said on Saturday.

Tugade, who inspected the excavation of the airport underground railway in front of the new terminal building of the Clark International Airport (CRK), said the project would generate direct and indirect employment opportunities for locals, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and transport workers affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Sa katunayan, mahigit 7,000 direct jobs ang nabuksan sa construction phase ng PNR Clark Phase 2, at inaasahang 3,000 job opportunities pa ang magbubukas oras na maging operational ito. Samantala, inaasahang higit 25,000 direct job opportunities ang hatid ng buong North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) line during construction, at 10,000 jobs naman ang maidadagdag oras na mabuksan na ito (In fact, more than 7,000 direct jobs have been opened in the construction phase of PNR Clark Phase 2, and it is expected that 3,000 job opportunities will open when it becomes operational. Meanwhile, more than 25,000 direct jobs are expected to open during the construction of the entire NSCR line, and 10,000 jobs will be added by the time it opens),” Tugade said in an official social media account post.

Joining Tugade during the inspection were provincial government officials and representatives of the Japan International Cooperation Agency and Asian Development Bank.

The underground train station of the PNR inside Clark is part of the 53-km. PNR Clark Phase 2 (Malolos-Clark segment) project.

Tugade said once operational, PNR Clark 2 will cut travel time from Malolos, Bulacan to Clark, Pampanga from 1.5 hours to 2 hours to just 30 minutes to 35 minutes.

It has six stations – Calumpit, Apalit, San Fernando, Angeles, Clark, and CRK.

This project is part of the massive 147-km. NSCR, which will have 35 stations, and shall operate 464 train cars, with 58 eight-car train sets configuration.

As of July 2021, PNR Clark Phase 2 recorded an overall progress rate of 32 percent, while PNR Clark Phase 1 (Tutuban to Malolos segment), is now 48-percent complete. (PNA)