P741.4-billion allotted for multiple railway projects

According to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), a P741.4-billion budget is reserved for multiple railway projects in Luzon and Mindanao that are aimed at decongesting the busy roads of the two island groups covered by the future public transport system.

According to Transport undersecretary for railways Timothy John Batan, the P741.4-billion budget is to be shared by  11 railway projects. The soon-to-be-built public transport system is set to decongest, and hopefully, replace thousands of cars and jeepneys, and hundreds of buses, traversing the busy roads of Metro Manila every day. In line with this, Batan also cited a 2017 data showing that traffic congestion experienced in Metro Manila generates an annual economic cost of nearly P1.3-trillion. 

The Philippines’ major railway projects are expected to be forwarded by the capital expenditures (capex) program. Below is a breakdown of the project’s combined cost of P1.669-trillion:

  • LRT-1 Cavite Extension: P65-billion
  • LRT-2 East Extension: P9.5-billion
  • LRT-2 West Extension: P10.1-billion
  • MRT-3 Rehabilitation: P30-billion
  • MRT-4: P49.8-billion
  • MRT-7: P68.2-billion
  • Metro Manila Subway: P357 billion
  • Common Station: P2.95 billion
  • North-South Commuter Railway: P777.6 billion
  • Subic-Clark Railway: P50 billion
  • PNR Bicol / South Long Haul: P175.3 billion
  • Mindanao Railway: P81.7 billion

From only 77 km in 2016, it said that the railway system will be extended to 1,209 km by 2025. The enhanced railway system is also aimed at further encouraging people to take public transportation more often, instead of bringing their own private vehicle which contributes to traffic congestion. 

We really need mass public transport. And trains or railways are the most efficient form of mass public transport with the highest capacity. That is why we are pushing for the funding of these projects even through loans.

Aside from the country’s budget, the Philippine government also plans to consult and tap into official development assistance (ODA) loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Chinese government, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JAICA), and from the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme for additional funding assistance on its multiple railway projects.

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