SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—The feasibility study for the Subic-Clark railway project being conducted by China Harbor Engineering Co. Ltd. (CHEC) is now underway.
The multi-billion-peso railway project was proposed to the national government by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
CHEC is a world-renowned international contractor and provider of full services in engineering-procurement- construction (EPC), Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT), and Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) for both public and private sectors, providing prestigious services globally and becoming a world-renowned brand in the field of engineering.
SBMA Seaport general manager Jerome Martinez said the Subic-Clark Railway Transit project is part of the P100-billion elevated coastal highway and railway system that would link Subic to Clark Economic Zone and the Port of Manila.
Martinez said the multi-billion project is currently on its data gathering stage: counting the number of cargo trucks passing through, where the cargos are being sent or collected, and the rates.
Aside from CHEC, the official said that there are other proponents that expressed interest in funding the Subic-Clark Railway Transit project.
“There are, actually, many proponents that would like to join in the project. However, the project is still in its conceptual stage where they do data gathering related to the volume, rates and destinations of the cargoes, the range, elevation and other technical issues,” Martinez said.
Aside from the Seaport Department, other SBMA offices (Engineering Department, Project Development Office, Land Asset Management Department, Ecology Center, and Public Works and Transportation Services Group) are members of the technical group that are coordinating with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) in coming up with the feasibility study with consulting firm Atkins.
Meanwhile, PDO manager Vicente Evidente, Jr. explained that the railway development project is one of the priority projects of President Rodrigo Duterte under the “Build, Build, Build” Program that includes Mindanao and Visayas.
For Subic, Evidente said, the railway system will be aligned to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway. This would save the government from right-of-way issues. There are also plans to connect it with the Clark-Manila Railway up to the Port of Manila. When finished, the rail system will open new investment opportunities and improve container and passenger traffic, as well as help decongest other ports, especially Manila.
The feasibility study is expected to complete by the third semester of the year, while the Subic-Clark Railway Transit project is expected to be finished before the end of the President’s term. (Dante M. Salvana)