Around three years from now, travel time from Tutuban to Clark should cut down to 55 minutes. That would save thousands of commuters a couple or more extra hours – precious time they could’ve spent on more important things than to be stuck in traffic. For now though, everyday commuters would have to suck it up until better roads and bridges are finally operational.
According to CNN Philippines, the Transportation Department unveiled June 26 details of the Manila-Clark railway project as it marked the first station of the Philippine National Railway (PNR) North Marilao. The Manila-Clark railway project would carry about 340,000 commuters daily and run 120 kilometers per hour. The 106-kilometer line will have 13 trains set each with eight coaches.

The line will pass through Meycauayan, Marilao, Bocaue, Balagtas, Guiguinto, Malolos, and Calumpit in Bulacan, and across Pampanga through Apalit, San Fernando, Angeles, Clark, Clark International Airport, all the way to the proposed New Clark City.

“For the first time, a rail project will connect Manila to Central Luzon,” SunStar Pampanga quoted DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade as saying.

Tugade added that he hopes the project will be completed during the current administration after it has been shelved off in 2014 under the government of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. With a P255 billion fund from Japan’s Official Development Assistance, construction will finally start in the last quarter and set to be completed in 2021. The Manila-Clark railway will also be integrated with the South Commuter Project, a 72-kilometer line that would run from Manila to Los Baños, Laguna.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno also told CNN Philippines’ Town Hall on Wednesday that the government set aside “8 to 9 trillion pesos over a period of six years” as part of “Dutertenomics” goal to “build, build, build.” He revealed there are 75 flagship projects in total, including a bridge that connects Matnog, Sorsogon to Southern, Leyte.

The flagship projects, said Diokno, aims to connect the entire archipelago. This should help ease the traffic and congestion in Metro Manila where people flock in order to secure better jobs.

“You create a lot of centers all over the country,” he said.

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