THE Philippines Department of Transportation (DOTr) has requested Pesos 163.75bn ($US 2.92bn) in funding for the construction and maintenance of seven rail lines in and around Metro Manila in 2024.

The funding is the largest element of the 2024 National Expenditure Programme, through which the DOTr is seeking Pesos 187.21bn from Congress for programmes and projects it plans to undertake next year.

The funding includes Pesos 76.34bn for the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) as the DOTr aims to keep the project on schedule to be completed in 2028. Pesos 53.26bn of that allocation is largely required for the procurement of the right-of-way.

The NSCR, funded by Japan, will cost a total of Pesos 873.62bn and will run from New Clark City to Calamba, Laguna via the Central Luzon, Metro Manila and Southern Tagalog regions.

The Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) has been allocated Pesos 68.37bn, of which the government will provide Pesos 21.68bn for right-of-way and tax expenses. Set to become the first underground line in the Philippines, the 33km MMSP will serve seven cities in Metro Manila and will cut travel time between Quezon City and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to 35 minutes.

The Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) has been allocated Pesos 10.29bn for maintenance and rehabilitation, including payments to the Sobrepeña-led Metro Rail Transit Corp (MRTC).

Transportation undersecretary, Mr Cesar Chavez, told The Star newspaper that the funding would also cover the government’s contribution to building the Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite Extension, as well as pre-construction works on the Metro Rail Transit Line 4 and Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long Haul projects.

The funding also included Peso 6.4bn to expand and upgrade land transport, Peso 6.09bn for aviation facilities and Peso 987.56m for maritime projects. The agency will also allocate Peso 500m for the development of active transport in urban areas, including the construction of bike lanes and pedestrian walkways.

For detailed data on rail projects around the world, subscribe to IRJ Pro.