Build, Build Build! ADB Approves $2.75 Billion Support for Malolos–Clark Railway Project

Artist rendition of Malolos–Clark Railway Project.  (Photo courtesy of JICA.)

Another one President Rodrigo Duterte’s BUILD BUILD BUILD infrastructure project is set to get underway.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved the funding of up to $2.75 billion for the construction of 53.1 kilometers (km) of a passenger railway connecting Malolos, a suburb north of Manila, to Clark economic zone and Clark International Airport in Central Luzon.

The Malolos-Clark railway is part of the government’s North–South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project, which will be stretching from New Clark City in Tarlac to Calamba in the south.

The said project aims to provide safe, reliable, and affordable public transport and is expected to be completed in the year 2025.

It will serve an estimated 342,000 passengers daily along the Manila–Clark corridor and up to 696,000 passengers per day to Calamba by 2025. 

The railway will reduced the travel time from Metro Manila to Clark International Airport to less than an hour, compared to 2 to 3 hours by car or bus today.

“ADB’s partnership with the Philippines has always been strong, and it has become stronger in the last three years,” said ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao

“The government’s Build, Build, Build (BBB) program is clearly steering the much-needed acceleration in infrastructure spending, from less than 2% of gross domestic product a decade ago to 6.3% now, well on track to achieve the 7% target by 2022. One of the key flagship projects of the BBB program is the Malolos–Clark railway.”

“It will be ADB’s single largest infrastructure project financing ever, and from a development perspective, we are pleased this investment is taking place in ADB’s host country. The project, combined with other investments in light rail transit, metro rail transit, and subway systems, will bring back the culture of rail transport in Metro Manila,” said Mr. Nakao.

The project is also co-financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with up to $2 billion.

ADB is committed to accomplishing a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while supporting its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.

The Malolos-Clark railway project is expected to be partially operational from 2022.

Source: ADB

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