DAVAO CITY — The impeded Manila-Clark light railway project will soon make headway as with President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to improve the Transportation System in the country. He has given his approval to the offer made recently by Chinese diplomats, to build the railway in two years.
Duterte said during a speech in Davao on Tuesday, June 21
“The ambassador said, ‘We will do the railway immediately and we will solve your Clark-Manila railway. We’ll use the shortest way.’ I don’t know how they’ll do it. But we will complete it in two years,”.
This project is a preparation for his master plan to decongest the metro by relegating businesses outside Metro Manila like Clark and Batangas
Duterte had previously said his dream legacy would be to build these train lines for the Philippines. He said he reminded the Chinese representatives that he also wanted a railway from Tutuban, Manila to the Bicol region, and another one from Manila to Batangas.
The Chinese diplomats also assured to Duterte, as they have successfully built railways in Africa.
President Duterte is said to be keeping his eye on the project to reaffirm his election promise to help Manila, Quezon City, Pampanga and many other heavily congested areas to bring traffic and affordable mass transportation to the area.
The Ex Deal?
During his campaign trail, Duterte mentioned that he would accept such train systems from China in exchange for agreeing to joint exploration of the disputed West Philippine Sea. But he clarifies this that China did not come with talks on the maritime dispute.
In his forum with the Davao businessmen, President Duterte mentioned,
“I was not ready to talk about the dispute. I was just asking how you can help us with the railway. Can you match the offer? Because if you cannot match the offer, I will accept the goodwill of China. My job is to see to it that the people are comfortable.”
The president is so serious about China’s proposal that he wants incoming Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to go to China.
Tugade himself has said “radical” ideas are needed to fix the city’s transportation problem.