Yeng laments DOTC’s timetable for mothballed north railway

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    CLARK FREEPORT – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) already has a timetable for the completion of a railway system that would connect the Clark International Airport (CIA) here to Metro Manila, but the completion date was set to 2030 yet. Pampanga 1st District Rep. Joseller Guiao revealed this during a meeting here with the Capampangans in Media, Inc., with a lament on “a timetable too way far off.”

    Guiao noted that the DOTC timetable indicated that the first phase would start the construction in Metro Manila to
    Malolos City in Bulacan for completion in 2020. “Then the second phase would be from Malolos to Clark for completion in 2030 yet,” he lamented.

    Guiao said officials of Central Luzon’s Regional Development Council (RDC), headed by Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado found the timetable unacceptable. “During a recent RDC meeting, Alvarado even expressed the view that the completion of the railway project up to Clark should be within the first phase or up to 2020,” he noted.

    He noted that the RDC already passed a resolution on this. Guiao said he would push for the earlier completion
    of the project up to Clark. “As a matter of fact, I think the entire project should be finished up to Clark even earlier than 2020,” he stressed.

    Guiao stressed the importance of fully developing the Clark freeport which former Pres. Ramos declared through an executive order in 1994 as “the future site of the country’s premier international gateway.”

    It was during Ramos’ term that a railway linking Clark to Metro Manila was first proposed. Guiao noted that
    Clark would inevitably be the vortex of economic activities in all regions north of Metro Manila once the Tarlac-Pangasinan- La Union Expressway (TPLEx) is completed within the Aquino administration.

    The project’s developer Philippine Infra Development Inc. (PIDC) said that once fully completed, TPLEX will cut
    travel time from Tarlac to La Union to only an hour from the present three and a half hours. “The north will have
    Clark as its alternative to Metro Manila where the Ninoy Aquino International Airport has become too congested,”
    Guiao said.

    He warned that NAIA has “become a safety issue.“ “It’s an accident waiting to happen and we don’t want this to happen,” he said.

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