More than 300,000 jobs will be accessible to Filipinos in Metro Manila and the Southern Luzon through the South Commuter Railway (SCR), more popularly known as the PNR-Calamba Project, a study conducted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said.

According to the investigation, which was released on Tuesday (August 17), the infrastructure project will address the discrepancy in job accessibility between the South Luzon region and Metro Manila. 

“For example, commuters in Makati City in Metro Manila can access as many as 5.4 million jobs whereas those in the south can access as few as 31,000 jobs only. The discrepancy in job accessibility comes mainly from the high concentration of jobs in Metro Manila as well as the slow and unreliable commuting options between these regions,” the Manila-based lender wrote. 

Once the rail plan is completed, it will ease access to jobs by 15.3% in Southern Luzon and 8.5% in Metro Manila.

“For instance, a household in San Pedro City in Laguna will be able to access 3.4 million jobs via rail transport, compared with only 2.03 million jobs by road—a 67.5% increase in job opportunities,” the study explained further. 

Besides this, workers in the Southern Luzon area will also obtain access to higher-paying jobs in Metro Manila once the SCR is completed. 

ADB’s recent study supports current assertions, which point to accessible public transport as an effective strategy in easing the widening income gap in the Philippine capital.

With a total length of 54.6 kilometers, the SCR will feature 19 stations between Blumentritt in the city of Manila and Calamba in Laguna. 

It will connect to PNR’s existing rail line, which encompasses five cities in Metro Manila and five in Laguna. It’s also expected to reduce travel time between Manila and Calamba to only 1 hour – instead of the 2 to 3 hour trip by bus. 

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Image credit: Department of Transportation