Posted 3 weeks ago
By: Ben O. de Vera
Economic managers have approved the P50-billion Subic-Clark Railway project that would not only connect the two industrial hubs in Central Luzon but also eventually be part of the larger network of rails connecting major seaports in Luzon island.
The project was approved during last Friday’s National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee meeting, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III told reporters late Friday.
As such, it would be next for approval by the Neda board, chaired by the President.
Dominguez noted that once completed, the project would be part of the railway network connecting Subic, Manila and Batangas, which host busy ports.
Besides the Subic-Clark Railway, also to be rolled out are rail systems connecting Clark to Malolos, Bulacan, to Manila, and to the Bicol Region through Laguna and Batangas provinces.
Neda Undersecretary Rolando Tungpalan told the Inquirer on Saturday that the Subic-Clark Railway would be financed by the Chinese government.
The Department of Finance earlier said China might provide a $947.64-million loan to roll out the railway system.
Memo of understanding
Last November, Dominguez and the Chinese commerce vice minister and international trade representative, Fu Ziying, signed a memorandum of understanding “to jointly identify and study an indicative list consisting of the second basket of key infrastructure cooperation projects for possible Chinese financing,” which besides the Subic-Clark Railway also included the Davao City Expressway, as well as the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Inter-Island Bridge.
The first basket of infrastructure projects to be funded by China included the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System’s New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam.