Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Northrail projects civil works near completion


Civil works on the Northrail project is expected to be completed as early as this month in time for its much anticipated opening next year.

One of the flagship projects of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the NorthRail project is envisioned to provide an efficient transport system between Metro Manila and Central and Northern Luzon and provide solution to the traffic problem and help decongest the metropolis.

The initial phase of the Northrail Project entails the reconstruction and upgrading of the rail line from the existing Caloocan Station to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in a bid to develop the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) as the foremost transshipment logistics hub in the Asia-Pacific region.

Phase I of the project is the dual-track rail service from Caloocan to Malolos, Bulacan under Section 1. Section 2 completes the rail service from Malolos to the DMIA.

The railway project from Caloocan to Malolos will interconnect and improve access to major transportation facilities in the Manila-Clark-Subic economic triangle, particularly Fort Bonifacio, Clark SEZ, Subic SEZ, and Poro Point in La Union.

The North Rail project Section I will have stations in Caloocan, Valenzuela, Marilao, Bocaue, Guiguinto, and Malolos.

So far, some 20,000 families residing within the rail line's right of way have already been relocated by the National Housing Authority (NHA).

Last April, the President approved the P645-million supplemental loan for Phase 1 of the NorthRail-SouthRail linkage project that will provide an efficient transport service and encourage urban development in other areas in Central, Northern, and Southern Luzon.

Phase 1 of the project covers the rehabilitation of the 34-kilometer rail section from Caloocan to Alabang, and the track renewal from Caloocan to España.

Last July, the President also launched the new trains of the newly-revitalized Philippine National Railways (PNR) by riding the new train from Tutuban to Buendia, which is expected to stretch up to the Bicol region by next year.

The NorthRail-SouthRail projects are among the flagship infrastructure projects enumerated by the President in her State-of-the-Nation Adress (SONA), particularly for the five super regions of the country that were programmed to catapult the country into First World status by 2020.

The Northrail project from Malolos to Clark is pegged at P39.3 billion; the Southrail project linking Metro Manila, Calamba and up to Bicol is estimated at P48.5 billion.

The President's major SONA projects are expected to enhance the country's economic growth and create jobs and leave behind a legacy of sustained development, prosperity and progress for generations to come.

Through the President's effective tax reforms, the government
has improved revenue efforts to generate about P6.5 trillion over the medium term to help fund these vital projects.

From 2004 to 2007, public infrastructure spending increased from P37.4 billion to P117.3 billion, an unprecedented figure reflecting the administration's seriousness to enhance the country's global competitiveness. (PND)

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