Transportation Assistant Secretary Leonel De Velez at the Central Luzon Transport & Trade Conference 2024 on May 24 at Hilton Clark Sun Valley Resort in Clark, Pampanga. The conference themed "Harnessing Logistics for Sustainable Growth" was co-organized by PortCalls and the Philippine Multimodal Transport and Logistics Association.

Subic to Batangas cargo railway eyed as Luzon Economic Corridor flagship project

May 28, 2024

  • The Luzon Economic Corridor Steering Committee has designated a cargo railway connecting Subic, Zambales, and Batangas as its flagship project for the new corridor
  • Special Adviser to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs Frederick Go called the project the Subic-Cargo-Manila-Batangas Railway
  • Go and Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said the SCMB railway is a new train line

A cargo railway connecting Subic, Zambales, and Batangas was designated as a flagship project under the Luzon Economic Corridor.

During the Philippine Economic Briefing held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on May 27, Special Adviser to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs Frederick Go said the Luzon Economic Corridor Steering Committee identified the Subic-Clark-Manila-Batangas (SCMB) Railway as a key project under the Luzon Economic Corridor.

Go and Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista confirmed that the SCMB railway is a new train line initiative.

It must be noted though that there is an earlier proposal to connect Subic and Clark by dedicated freight railway. The Subic-Clark Railway Project (SCRP), a 71-kilometer line intended to connect the Port of Subic Bay and Clark International Airport in Pampanga, has been stalled since the Philippine government withdrew from loan negotiations with China.

On the face of it, the SCMB is effectively an extension of SCRP.

“The only line we approved is only Subic to Clark, but we will extend it to Manila and to Batangas – one line,” Bautista said.

He noted the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is now preparing a feasibility study for the SCMB cargo railway.

In related development, Transportation Assistant Secretary for Planning and Project Leonel De Velez in his presentation at the Central Luzon Transport & Trade Conference 2024 on May 24 said the SCRP would be “more viable and feasible if we connected it to other economic centers such as the Port of Manila and the Port of Batangas, linking all the different economic zones.”

“I believe there are a lot of economic centers still in CALABARZON so having this comprehensive railway system connecting that economic corridor is very vital for our country,” De Velez said at the conference co-organized by PortCalls and the Philippine Multimodal Transport and Logistics Association.

Go, who co-chaired the inaugural meeting of the Luzon Economic Corridor Steering Committee in Manila last week, emphasized that the SCMB cargo railway will open up significant investment opportunities.

The committee includes US Senior Advisor to the President for Energy and Investment Amos Hochstein and Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director-General for International Cooperation Bureau Ishizuki Hideo.

In addition to the United States and Japan, the United Kingdom has expressed interest in participating in the development of the Luzon Economic Corridor and could expand the international partnerships to three countries.

“The UK just came up to me, from the UK Embassy, they said they [have] been wanting to get in touch because they want to get involved in this Luzon economic growth corridor,” Go said.

Source: https://www.portcalls.com/subic-to-batangas-cargo-railway-eyed-as-luzon-economic-corridor-flagship-project/