MANILA – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will work closely with the contractor of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 2 project to ensure that issues are addressed after its projected completion date was delayed by eight months.
In a statement on Monday, the DOTr said the project, initially slated for completion in June 2024, has been delayed until June 2025 due to the delay in the turnover of the land to project contractor POSCO Engineering & Construction.
“Before the 36-hectare site was turned over by the government to POSCO, several fruit-bearing trees were cut down, causing the delay,” it said.
About 48 buildings and facilities are expected to be built by POSCO at the project site, meant to be the Clark Depot of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR).
“As of December 31, 2022, more than 33% of the planned construction has been completed,” it said.
In addition to buildings and facilities, the Clark Depot will have 33 stabling tracks to serve as the parking areas for the trains and 12 other tracks to access maintenance facilities.
During a site visit at the project site, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said the Clark Depot is where the operations control center will be located which will serve as the “heart of operations” of the rail service.
“It is important that we complete this as planned and on time. I know that there are issues that need to be resolved. The DOTr will work closely with [the contractor], so we can fix problems and address issues,” Bautista said.
The 53-kilometer PNR Clark Phase 2 is the second leg of the NSCR and will link multiple cities and municipalities in Central Luzon with Metro Manila.
Funded by the Asian Development Bank, the project is seen to cut travel time between Malolos City in Bulacan province and Clark, Pampanga province from 1.5 hours to 30 minutes.
This part of the NSCR also includes the Airport Railway Express Service that will connect Makati to the Clark International Airport through a 55-minute train ride. (PNA)