Asian Development Bank agrees $4.3bn loan for Philippines’ South Commuter Rail Project

Image courtesy of the Department of Transportation of the Philippines
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan worth up to $4.3bn for the construction of the 55km South Commuter Railway Project between Metro Manila and the city of Calamba. Work on the project will include 18 stations and a connecting tunnel to create an interchange with the future Metro Manila Subway.

The line will be designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes, and will be elevated to avoid flooding.

When complete, it will be part of the North–South Commuter Railway (NSCR) and will be the ADB’s largest infrastructure scheme in the Asia–Pacific region.

The South Commuter Project will be financed in sections, with the first $1.75bn tranche to be made available this year. Release of the second and third tranches is expected in 2024 and 2026.

ADB will finance viaducts, stations, bridges, tunnels and depot buildings, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency will fund the rolling stock and signalling systems.

The project follows ADB’s funding of the Malolos–Clark Railway line, presently under way north of the capital.

Ahmed Saeed, the ADB’s vice-president for the region, said: “The South Commuter Railway Project will provide affordable, safe, reliable and fast public transport for commuters.

“This project represents ADB’s biggest infrastructure investment and reflects our commitment to helping the Philippines attain its goals of reducing poverty, improving the lives of Filipinos and achieving green, resilient and high economic growth.”

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