MANILA - Construction of the 19 stations of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Calamba is set to begin in 2022.
During a site visit at the PNR Balagtas Station, Department of Transportation Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John "TJ" Batan said construction works are set to begin as bidding for all nine contracts of the project is "almost complete."
"The first six contracts are already undergoing Asian Development Bank's (ADB) review for concurrence, following which the contracts will be awarded and signed, and construction will very soon be mobilized," Batan said.
The PNR Calamba is a 57-kilometer railway project and is the third and southernmost leg of the North South Commuter Railway (NSCR)--a big-ticket project under the Duterte administration's Build, Build, Build program.
In total, he said the NSCR would be composed of 35 stations from Clark, Pampanga passing through the province of Bulacan and the National Capital Region (NCR) to Calamba, Laguna.
By June 2022, he said the number of operational train stations in the country will increase from 61 to 87, while 92 stations will be under construction or have signed contracts.
"The 179 railway stations operational, contracted, and ongoing construction by 2022 is a critical component of the DOTr's railway network expansion program because it is at stations that a railway becomes more accessible to the people," Batan said.
In July, the DOTr said it received a "record-breaking" number of bids for the PNR Calamba both from local and international contractors.
Once underway, the project is expected to provide around 10,000 direct jobs. (PNA)