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Land turnover issue delays completion of PNR Clark Phase 2 by eight months

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said due to issues on land turnover, the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 2 will be delayed by about eight months to mid 2025.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said the Clark Depot of the PNR Clark Phase 2 (Malolos-Clark) Segment of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) will be completed by June 2025, an eight-month extension of its original target completion date of October 2024.

He said POSCO Engineering & Construction cited the delayed turnover of the land as cause for the extension in completion of the project. The turnover of the land was supposedly delayed as the government had to cut down fruit bearing trees planted in the 36-hectare site.

“This is a very important part of the NSCR, considering the operations control center of the project will be located here. The operations control center is the heart of the operations,” Bautista said.

POSCO will construct 48 buildings and facilities at the depot site. The Clark Depot has 33 stabling tracks to serve as parking area for the trains and 12 other tracks to access the maintenance facilities.

The transport chief vowed to finish the project “within the timeframe provided to President Bongbong Marcos.”

“We promised the President that we would finish the project as agreed on the timeline that we set. I just want to see to it that we work together and finish this project on time,” he said.

As of end-December, more than 33 percent of the planned construction has been completed.

Funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the PNR Clark Phase 2 is the second leg of the North-South Commuter Rail  (NSCR) Project, which aims to link cities and municipalities in Central Luzon with Metro Manila, and help spur economic activity in nearby provinces.

Once completed, the 53-kilometer rail line is expected to cut travel time between Malolos, Bulacan and Clark, Pampanga from 1.5 hours to just 30 minutes. It will also feature the country’s first-ever Airport Railway Express Service, which will connect Makati to the Clark International Airport in just 55 minutes.

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