DOTr triples capex for rail infra to P278B

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is tripling its capital expenditure for 11 big-ticket railway infrastructure from P90.756 billion  this year to  P278.3 billion in 2022, at the end of the Duterte administration, with 8 projects either completed or partially operational.

The railway projects set for completion or partial operations within the year until the end of the term of President Duterte include the P9.5 billion LRT-2 East (Masinag) Extension, the P22 billion MRT-3 Rehabilitation, the P3 billion Common Station, the P65 billion LRT-1 Cavite Extension, the P68.2 billion MRT-7, the P50 billion Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 1, key facilities of the P357 billion Metro Manila Subway Project, and the P82 billion Mindanao Rail Project, DOTr officials disclosed during a recent virtual briefing.

The ongoing construction of the  PNR Clark Phase 1, from Tutuban in Manila to Malolos in Bulacan, has a 43 percent overall progress as of January 2021, according to General Manager Junn Magno.

Partial operations of key facilities are slated in the fourth quarter of 2021, and full operations by the second quarter of 2024. 

The MRT-3's full rehabilitation will be completed this December, according to MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati.

Rail replacement works was completed in December 2020, months ahead of schedule. 

The LRT-1 (Cavite) Extension Project Package 1 will be partially operational in the fourth quarter of this year, announced DOTr - Railways Sector Project Development Officer Anna Tayag.

The project will extend the existing LRT Line 1 system from Baclaran, Parañaque to Bacoor, Cavite. 

The LRT-2 East (Masinag) Extension Project, from Marikina Station to Antipolo Station, will be inaugurated on April 26, 2021 and start partial operations the next day, confirmed LRTA Spokesperson Atty. Hernando Cabrera.

As of 31 January 2021, the project has a 96.29 percent overall progress rate. 

The Mindanao Railway Project Phase 1, the Tagum-Davao-Digos Segment will be partially operable in March 2022, according to DOTr Assistant Secretary for Project Implementation - Mindanao Cluster Eymard Eje.

MRT-7 will be partially operational in December 2021 and fully operational in December 2022, says DOTr Undersecretary for Railways TJ Batan.

On the other hand, tunnel boring for the Metro Manila Subway Project, the first-ever subway in the country, will start in the third quarter of 2021, he added.

The annual direct economic cost of congestion in Metro Manila stands at P1.277 trillion, Usec. Batan pointed out.

For this reason, the current administration allocated P7 to P8 trillion for infrastructure projects, more than the total state investments in the sector for the past two decades, he concluded.