The Philippines has awarded three civil works contracts with a combined value of $1.7bn for the Malolos–Clark Railway Project.

The signing ceremony was hosted by the Philippines’ Department of Transportation (DOTr).

A joint venture (JV) comprising Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Dong-ah Geological Engineering Company and the Philippines’ Megawide Construction was awarded the first contract package.

The package includes building around 17km of elevated rail viaduct, seven bridges, and two railway stations.

Spain’s Acciona Construction Philippines and Daelim Industrial secured the second contract package involving civil engineering work and the construction of around 16km of viaducts and one railway station.

DOTr awarded the third contract package to Italian–Thai Development Public Company. This package includes building 12km of viaducts and two railway stations.

In August, the Philippines awarded the first two contracts worth around $728m for the project.

The Malolos–Clark Railway Project involves building an elevated railway line to connect the northern provinces and the capital, Metro Manila.

Once complete, it will reduce journey time between Clark in northern Pampanga province and Manila, with trains travelling at speeds of up to 160km/h.

The project is funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency.

ADB Southeast Asia director general Ramesh Subramaniam said: “The signing of these contracts means the Malolos–Clark Railway Project construction will now go on full speed, helping the country’s economic revival over the next 12–24 months.

“When completed by 2025 based on current plans, we expect the project to benefit nearly 350,000 commuters daily.”

In the next three years, the project is expected to create around 24,000 local construction jobs.

The Malolos–Clark Railway Project is itself a part of the planned 163km North–South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Project that seeks to mitigate road congestion in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces.