President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos was joined by Senator Mark A. Villar in the contract signing ceremony of the North-South commuter railway project on Thursday, 06 October 2022 at the Jose Rizal Plaza in Calamba City.
“Ako ay nagagalak na makita na ang BUILD BETTER MORE program ni President Bongbong Marcos ay naisasakatuparan na. This program will continue the country’s Golden Age of Infrastructure. Malaki po ang kontribusyon ng proyekto na ito sa ating bansa lalo na sa mga kababayan nating commuters dahil napakahalaga ng pagpapatuloy ng pag-unlad ng imprastraktura sa bansa”, Senator Villar said.
These four (4) contract packages are financed by a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will include the construction of 31.5 kilometers of railway viaducts, nine (9) elevated stations, and one (1) railway depot covering the Muntinlupa to Calamba portion of the North-South commuter railway Project.
“Makatitiyak po kayo na patuloy nating susuportahan ang mga proyektong makakatulong at magpapaunlad sa sektor ng transportasyon ng bansa. Sisiguraduhin nating makakamit ang komportableng buhay para sa lahat dahil ito ang nararapat sa bawat Pilipinong commuter. Ang mass transportation ay dapat manatiling isa sa ating mga pangunahing priyoridad”, Senator Mark Villar emphasized.
The South Commuter Railway Project is a 56-kilometer railway system comprising the 147-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway which will connect the National Capital Region (NCR) to the northern and southern suburban areas in Luzon. The SCRP stretches from Blumentritt in Manila to Calamba City in Laguna and will have 18 stations. Once finished, it will give Filipino commuters efficient public transport and lessen traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
“We see the need to improve our railway system because this is what the Filipino commuters deserve- a railway system that is efficient, operational, safe, and secured. In years time, unti unti na natin makikita ang ginhawa ng transportasyon sa bansa. Mas magiging madali na ang pagbiyahe ng katagalugan Luzon papunta sa iba’t-ibang destinasyon sa Manila at karatig probinsya,” Villar said.
With Sen. Villar’s capacity as then Secretary of DPWH, a total of Php 29 billion has been allocated for the upgrading and improvement of 906 kilometer of access roads to airports, seaports and railway stations from 2016 to 2021.
“Today we have reached another milestone in terms of improving mass transportation in the country. The contract signing of the North-South Commuter Railway Station will pave the way towards the construction of the South Commuter Railway, a 56-km railway project from Manila to Laguna. It will reduce travel time from 3 hours to just 1 hour and will accommodate about 340,000 commuters per day”, Villar added.
Villar was instrumental in the accomplishment of the Kalsada Tungo sa Paliparan, Riles at Daungan, or KATUPARAN program. Under this initiative, connections to seaports, airports, and railroad terminals were built. As of this day, under this program, 443 kilometers of roads were built with the intention of enhancing economic, logistical, and transportation operations in these significant transportation hubs.