Railway projects to harness Luzon’s potential as prime logistics hub

By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

May 23, 2024, 4:52 pm

<p>Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista <em>(PNA photo by Robert Oswald Alfiler)</em></p>

Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista (PNA photo by Robert Oswald Alfiler)

MANILA – Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista said Thursday the Luzon corridor has the potential to become a principal logistics hub with two big-ticket railway projects supporting economic growth.

DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said the two projects – the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) - New Clark City Extension, and the Subic-Clark-Manila-Batangas (SCMB) Railway – are seen as investments that would help speed up development.

These projects will attract more investments for railway systems, port modernization and upgrades, clean energy projects, agri-business, and cold storage facilities.

"The direction was to focus on the two flagship transport projects to serve as backbone for regional economic growth and development," Bautista said during the Philippine Business Mission of the US - Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business Council.

The SCMB, he said, is a priority infrastructure project that aims to be a heavy-rail commuter and freight railway connecting major ports in Luzon with economic zones in the Greater Capital Region.

“The project also aims to establish dry port terminals along the corridor with future extensions northward to the Ilocos Region and southward to the Bicol Region,” he said.

On the other hand, the New Clark City extension of the NSCR would support the development of New Clark City by improving access to the Clark International Airport (CRK) and the National Capital Region (NCR).

He also called on the support of the US-ASEAN Business Mission in convincing more investors of the viability of the country’s projects and initiatives, including sustainable transportation and digital transformation like the automated fare collection system for public utility vehicles.

The Philippine Business Mission is an annual meeting of the US-ASEAN Business Council members with the Philippine government.

The event allows senior representatives from member companies to engage with priority stakeholders and reinforce the importance of US-Philippines business relations. (PNA)