Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. during the Ceremonial Contract Signing of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Project – South Commuter Section Contract Packages S-02 and S-03B

Event Ceremonial contract signing of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Project
Location President’s Hall of Malacañan Palace

Thank you to our Transport Secretary Jimmy Bautista for your kind introduction. [Please take your seats]

The Excellencies, members of the Diplomatic Corps; the ADB Country Director Kelly Bird; our partners from the private sector who without whom we would not have been able to perfect these contracts that we have witnessed today; fellow workers in government; all our distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

We are gathered here today to witness the laying of another strong foundation for a better Philippines.

Considering the time, effort, and resources required to complete a project of this size, of this scale, and of this magnitude, it is important that we recognize the achievements and we acknowledge the work of those who have already begun, who came before us.

Building on these strategic and progressive accomplishments, this Administration shall commit consistency of policy and program implementation.

It is an issue that has been raised by many investors, by many of the proposals that we have been receiving and that is why we have focused our attention in making sure that the ease of doing business, the ease of doing — together with these partnerships, both with financial institutions, G2G arrangements, PPP arrangements, are streamlined.

And with all these said, I am delighted that we are here now to formally initiate another flagship project that fully aligns with this Administration’s policy of “Build Better More.”

With the signing of these contracts, we will soon see the commencement of the third phase of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) system—the South Commuter Section or the South Commuter Railway Project (SCRP).

These Contract Packages constitute some 14-kilometer stretch of the SCRP, running through Metro Manila, both above and below its surface. Totaling 55.6 kilometers, the SCRP will connect Manila to Laguna, rounding out the southern leg of the NSCR system.

In a larger context, this is also an extremely exciting prospect, because it means that all phases of the NSCR system are now officially in full swing.

In its entirety, with a total length of 147.26 kilometers of railway, the NSCR mega-project will be a massive boost to our overall transportation infrastructure [and] will benefit up to 800,000 passengers per day.

As the civil works for these contract packages commence, we expect not only the generation of more than 2,000 jobs, but also the creation of other opportunities and livelihood during its construction.

Most importantly, the completion of the full NSCR line will bring greater convenience for our commuters. It will offer an efficient and comfortable transport alternative that spans the great distance, connecting Pampanga to Manila and then to Laguna.

As a consequence, we expect not only decongestion along our main thoroughfares, especially within Metro Manila, but also faster travel times for commuters in general.

All in all, it promises speedier transactions, more quality time, and improved quality of life for all. Imagine the comfort and convenience of traveling via train from Clark International Airport to Calamba in just two hours.

This is something that I still marvel at because in my lifetime, we have never seen that.

The railway will also spur economic activities in the interconnected regions, and in all the areas in between. Moreover, it will promote environmental sustainability and public health.

At this point, allow me, once again, to extend our immense gratitude to the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency or JICA for being the country’s active and consistent partners in infrastructure development for many, many, many years now.

Your support has been instrumental in our efforts to provide safe, sustainable, and efficient public transportation for Filipino people.

I also, of course, acknowledge our [partner-contractors]: the Acciona- DMCI Joint Venture and the Leighton-First Balfour Joint Venture. We welcome your participation and cooperation with the Philippine Government in these projects.

We, of course, must recognize as well the efforts of local governments, our partners in the private sector, and the workers involved for all the progress that we have seen in all the phases of this project.

So, with hope and determination, let us exert all our efforts to complete this project and the whole NSCR system, stringently committing to the high quality standards and the timeframe that we have set for ourselves.

To our beloved citizens: you remain at the core of all these pursuits. We are aware of the struggles you encounter daily, and strive hard to address them.

As a consequence, there will be unavoidable disruptions and inconvenience occasioned by the project’s construction. So, we ask for your continued patience, your understanding, and set our sights instead on the glory of its accomplishment in a few years’ time.

Rest assured, as with other programs of this Administration, we will be diligent in finishing this project with excellence, with honesty, and with the proper urgency.

May this project reshape the way that we think about transportation, about urban planning, and community development in our country.

May it inspire more worthwhile, strategic, and high-impact endeavors, with the aim of improving the quality of lives of our countrymen by leaps and bounds.

Thank you all very much and congratulations to all our partners for the signing of these contracts and we look forward to the completion of this very valuable important project.

Maraming salamat po. Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat! [applause]


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SOURCE: PCO-PND (Presidential News Desk)