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ADB plans $1.7bn loan for Philippines rail project

Out-Law News | 10 Aug 2021 | 2:09 am | 1 min. read

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it will approve a $1.75 billion loan for Philippine’s South Commuter Railway project.

“The Philippine government held successful biddings for civil works contracts for a combined 40.5km of viaduct structures for the South Commuter Railway Project, a major flagship project the ADB is preparing for funding support for consideration by its Board of Directors in the fourth quarter of this year,” the bank said in a statement.

It is reported that the loan is the biggest ADB financing package for the Philippines this year.

The project is also called PNR Calamba which is part of the 147 kilometres (km) north-south commuter railway (NSCR) system.

Once completed, it will cut travel time from the Clark international airport in Pampanga province north of Metro Manila to Calamba City in the south from over four hours to 1.5 hours. The system will carry up to 1 million passengers each day.

During the bidding in July, the PNR Calamba attracted 23 bids from 17 international and six local companies wanting to take part in the construction of the railway system.

Infrastructure expert John Yeap of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “The metro Manila area requires significant upgrades in its public transportation system. No doubt this rail project will be most welcome by daily commuters who currently have to endure significant travel time, often in uncomfortable conditions. The bidding has attracted a stellar list of bidders, which bodes well for the successful and timely completion of the project.”