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June 10, 2022

ADB grants $4.3bn for Philippines’ South Commuter Railway Project

Funding will be used for the construction of around 55km of a modern suburban railway line.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $4.3bn loan for the South Commuter Railway Project in the Philippines.

The funding will be used to build around 55km of a modern suburban railway line, which will link Metro Manila with the city of Calamba.

This loan will be offered in multiple tranches, including $1.75bn under the first tranche to be provided this year.

The second and third tranches is anticipated to be provided in 2024 and 2026, respectively.

ADB will provide funding for civil works related to the railway viaduct, stations, bridges, tunnels, and depot buildings.

Funding for rolling stock and railway systems will be provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

ADB East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific vice-president Ahmed Saeed said: “The South Commuter Railway Project will provide affordable, safe, reliable, and fast public transport for commuters.

“This project represents ADB’s biggest infrastructure investment and reflects our commitment to helping the Philippines attain its goals of reducing poverty, improving the lives of Filipinos, and achieving green, resilient, and high economic growth.”

Part of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) network, the project is expected to reduce road traffic congestion and cut down greenhouse gas emissions in line with the country’s climate change goal.

Under the project, a total of 18 stations will be constructed.

A connecting tunnel will be built to run direct trains from Calamba to stations on the future Metro Manila Subway system.

The infrastructure is being designed to be resilient to disasters including earthquakes and typhoons.

Compared with the existing time of 2.5 hours taken to commute by road, the project will help decrease journey time between Manila and Calamba by more than half.

Earlier, the bank also provided funding for the Malolos–Clark Railway line, which is under construction, located north of the capital.

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