Philippines Holds Bidding for Railway Contracts, ADB Prepares Project for Board Consideration

MANILA — The Philippine government held successful biddings for civil works contracts for a combined 40.5 kilometers (km) of viaduct structures for the South Commuter Railway Project, a major flagship project the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is preparing for funding support for consideration by its Board of Directors in the fourth quarter of this year.

The submission and opening of bids on 14–15 July 2021, which included contracts for elevated stations and a 22-hectare train depot, attracted a record 34 bids from a total of 23 local and international engineering and construction firms. ADB provided advisory services on the bidding process under its Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility.

“We congratulate the Department of Transportation and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) on the successful bidding turnout, which reflects robust local and global interest and confidence in the Philippines’ Build, Build, Build infrastructure development program and for a strong post-pandemic economic recovery,” said ADB Philippines Country Director Kelly Bird.

The South Commuter Railway Project, also called PNR-Calamba, is a key component of the 147-km North–South Commuter Railway (NSCR) system that will reshape the country’s mass transportation network. It will cut travel time from the Clark International Airport in Pampanga province north of Metro Manila to Calamba City in the south from more than 4 hours to just 1.5 hours. The entire railway system is expected to carry up to 1 million passengers daily.

The project is included in ADB’s country operations business plan for the Philippines. It links to another ADB-funded railway, the Malolos–Clark Railway Project approved by ADB in May 2019, a modern, elevated railway line that will connect northern provinces to Metro Manila. It will feature the country’s first airport express train, with the railway connecting to Clark International Airport. Five civil works contracts worth $2.5 billion under the project were awarded in 2020 and are now under implementation.

“We are pleased to partner with the Philippine government in this transformative project that will have substantial multiplier effects on the economy and regional development,” Mr. Bird said.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.


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