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Commuter railway’s Calamba station to open by 2025

by Raymond Carl Dela Cruz
July 13, 2021

Commuter railway’s Calamba station to open by 2025
NSCR CALAMBA STATION. An artist's perspective of the planned Calamba Station of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project. Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the plans and funding for the project have been approved, with the project expected to be completed by 2025. (Photo courtesy of DOTr)

MANILA – The North-South Commuter Railway’s (NSCR) planned station in Calamba, Laguna will be operational by the fourth quarter of 2025, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) officials said on Tuesday.

In an interview during the inspection of the future site of Calamba station, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the rail project is seen to cut travel time from Clark, Pampanga to Calamba “from four hours and more to one hour and a half,” while travel from Calamba to Makati City will be lessened from 90 minutes to 45 minutes.

He noted that the project will especially be beneficial to students and workers who need to commute regularly to and from Metro Manila, aside from boosting the local economy through ease of transportation to Calamba and its historical tourism sites.

“Kung magagagwa mo yan ng meron mobility, aangat nang aangat ang ekonomiya ng lugar (If you can accomplish this with mobility, the area’s economy will be boosted),” Tugade said.

He said the estimated completion date of the project is “very realizable,” noting that several project requirements have already been completed.

Despite the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022, he expects the project to push through as funding and plans for the project have been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

“Una, may pondo. Na-approve na lahat ang pondo. Pangalawa, na-approve na yung plano, na-approve na ng NEDA (First, there’s funding. All funding has already been approved. Second, NEDA has already approved the plan). It's just the efforts of implementing it,” Tugade said.INSPECTION. Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade (left) viewing a bird's eye view of the proposed site of the NSCR Calamba Station. (Photo by Raymond Carl Dela Cruz)

Both the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), he said, have approved funding for the project.

He said the local government of Calamba has also stepped up to support the project, specifically on the project’s relocation and right-of-way.

“Yung hamon marami, kaya lang kung kaakibat mo yung local government, lahat ng hamon na yan mapapadali (There are many challenges, but if you have the local government at your side, things get easier),” Tugade said.

Calamba City Mayor Justin Marc Chipeco said talks on the project’s relocation have begun, especially on sites of the planned depot and stations of the NSCR in Calamba.

“Sa ngayon ginagawa naman ho namin, naga-identify na kami ng area na hindi na pwede pasukan nino man (Right now we’re working on it, we have identified areas that cannot be entered by anyone) because that will be designated for relocation purposes only,” Chipeco said.

He said the local government fully supports the DOTr and the rail project, noting that the project will not only provide increased mobility for its people but also boost the city’s economy.

“Having this project is a very big thing for us,” Chipeco said.

To date, procurement for the project is ongoing, with a total of nine civil works contract packages—six contract packages to begin bidding within this month and contracts expected to be signed by December 2021, while another three contracts will begin bidding in August this year and contracts expected to be signed by February 2022. (PNA)


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