On September 18, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) converged together to officially signal the construction of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR-Ex) Extension Project. 

The ceremony, which was attended by Japanese Ambassador Kazuhiro Koshikawa, DOTr Undersecretary Timothy John Batan, and ADB’s Director-General Ramesh Subramaniam, was held at the site of Clark International Airport Station in Mabalacat, Pampanga. 

Photo from DOTr

Photo from DOTr

Photo from DOTr

The NSCR-Ex Project will come in two forms – one will run northwards and the other southwards. The 51-km north extension will connect Malolos to Clark International Airport, while the 55-km south extension will link Solis, Manila to Calamba, Laguna.

The mega railway plan will be funded by the ADB and the government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). 

It will complement the NSCR ongoing NSCR Malolos to Tutuban Project and similarly, will be built using Japan’s very own railway network, which makes use of energy-efficient and reliable trains. 

Once finished, the extension line will strengthen the Philippines’ mass-transport system and improve Metro Manila’s economic connectivity to surrounding provinces. 

It’s also expected t alleviate traffic congestion, boost investment, and contribute less to pollution and climate change. 

NSCR-Ex is among the many projects under the Build! Build! Build! Program being financed by Japan, which includes the following: 

  • Expansion of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 to Cavite
  • The recently completed extension of LRT Line 2 to Masinag, Antipolo under the Capacity Enhancement of Mass Transit Systems in Metro Manila Project.
  • Metro Rail Transit Line 3’s Rehabilitation.
  • The Metro Manila Subway.

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Image credit: DOTr