Malolos-Clark rail segment seen as important part of economic recovery

Department of Transportation (DOTr) and its financing partners stressed the crucial role of the Malolos-Clark segment of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said this will provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to thousands of workers, especially those that were affected by the pandemic. 

“I’ve been stressing this and I want to make sure that under the Build Build Build, we shall prioritize the employment of former Overseas Filipino Workers and transport workers to guarantee the inclusivity of this project,” Tugade said in his message which was delivered by DOTr Undersecretary for Administration and Finance Giovanni Lopez.

For his part, Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko said the NSCR as a whole will not only be good to the people, but will also be beneficial to economies as it helps distributes gross to nearby regions and improve business environment.

“The benefit of this project will extend as far as creating many job opportunities. A total of around 10,000 new jobs are expected during its construction and once operation begins,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Asian Development Bank Country Director Kelly Bird said the project will be hugely transformative for the nation, and particularly for Clark.

He said that since its cuts travel time significantly from Manila to Clark, it creates safe travel and also allows young people in Clark and nearby provinces to access tens of thousands of jobs because they can travel quickly from Manila to Clark. 

“This project is going to be significant in the region’s economic recovery. A USD1 billion investment in railways leads to USD1.5 billion in additional gross domestic product and it creates tens of thousands of jobs,” he said. 

Bird also stressed that the commencement of the civil works is very timely as the government is making a lot of progress in the rollout of the [Covid-19] vaccination program. 

“In the National Capital Region, 84 percent received their first dose and 60 percent are fully vaccinated. With this high rate of vaccination, economy is able to fully open up safely. This project will help boost this economic recovery,” he said. 

The NSCR Malolos-Clark segment opened a total of 7,000 direct jobs during its construction phase, and will generate around 3,000 more job opportunities once it becomes operational. 

Moreover, for the whole NSCR line, over 25,000 direct jobs will be generated during its construction, while 10,000 jobs are expected to provide employment to the public. 

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