ANGELES CITY — “It was necessary.”
Thus, said City Councilor Jesus “Jay” Sangil in explaining the resolution passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) endorsing the Subic-Clark Railway Project (SCRP).
The said undertaking is one of the Duterte administration’s big-ticket project in infrastructure under its “Build, Build, Build Program.”
In a recent session, the SP en banc unanimously passed the resolution supporting the implementation of the P50-billion SCRP that will connect two major ports in Central Luzon.
The SP has adopted the report prepared by the Committee on Clark Special Economic Zone (CCSEZ), chaired by Sangil, that endorsed the said project which is seen to spur greater economic benefits not only for the city but for the region as well.
“During the time of then President Ramos, as then head of the Clark Field Association of Journalists, we passed a resolution urging Malacañang to designate Clark airport as the Philippines’ premiere gateway. This called for support infra projects like modern railway system and road networks and we are seeing all these fall into place now. Under the Build Build Build program of President Duterte, nagkakaroon na po ng katuparan ang matagal nating panaginip, panaginip ng ating mga kababayan sa Central at Northern Luzon,” Sangil said.
The journalist-turned-politician also proposed the adoption of a twin airport system for Clark and NAIA during his first term in 2005.
The CCSEZ Report, as adapted by the SP en banc, states that: “the project aims to provide freight and commuter rail service seen to ease traffic and port congestions in Metro Manila and promote rural and value chain economic development within the Subic-Clark economic corridor, thereby spurring regional economic growth in Central Luzon and nearby regions.”
Sangil said the CCSEZ recommended the approval of the said project, pointing out its potential to spur economic activity here and adjoining other areas in and around Clark and Subic. He noted that the said project will bring about enormous livelihood and job opportunities from construction period up to its actual operations.
Sangil said during the committee meetings, representatives from various sectors of the city have participated in the deliberations. Also present were officials from the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
In their report, the committee mentioned that the realization of the project will help ease traffic and port congestion while it will also reinforce various infrastructure development here and in Subic.
The SCRP is a P50-Billion project which aims to develop infrastructure network that will boost industrial and commercial activities in Central Luzon while supporting connectivity and mobility operation with the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Manila to Clark, Manila to Bicol, Sorsogon and Manila to Batangas.
It is a 71-kilometer double -track electric railway between the Port of Subic Bay and Clark International Airport with additional 15-kilometer extension to New Clark City. Its initial operation will be for freight service but with future expansion to accommodate passenger service.
SCRP is also one of the projects under the ‘Build Build Build’ program of the Duterte Administration which is set for completion by year 2022.