June 25, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Romualdez lauds PBBM for securing US-Japan commitment to support Subic-Clark-Batangas railway link

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Friday hailed President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for securing the United States and Japan’s commitment to support the development of a railway project linking Subic-Clark-Batangas during his historic trilateral meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden and Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

In a Joint Vision Statement following their historic trilateral meeting, the three leaders announced the launch of the Luzon Economic Corridor, which will support connectivity between Subic Bay, Clark, Manila, and Batangas in the Philippines.

The statement said that through this corridor, part of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI)-IPEF Accelerator,  the three nations commit to accelerating coordinated investments in high-impact infrastructure projects, including rail; ports modernization; clean energy and semiconductor supply chains and deployments; agribusiness; and civilian port upgrades at Subic Bay.

“The commitment of the US and Japan to support a railway project linking Subic-Clark-Batangas is a remarkable achievement of President Marcos, Jr. as it holds immense potential for driving economic growth and development across the nation,” said Romualdez, leader of the 300-plus strong House of Representatives. 

By linking these strategic ports, Romualdez said the project will significantly enhance the efficiency of cargo transportation, bolster trade activities and attract investments to the region.

“Moreover, it promises to create numerous job opportunities, stimulate local industries, and uplift the standard of living for countless Filipinos,” he added.

As part of the effort to promote the Luzon Corridor, the Joint Vision Statement of the three leaders announced a trilateral event promoting investment in the area on the margins of the Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Manila in May this year.

Romualdez stressed that the railway will offer a faster and more reliable alternative to road transport for cargo movement between Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Clark Freeport Zone, and Batangas, significantly reducing transportation costs and improving supply chain efficiency in these regions.

“By diverting cargo away from roads, the railway project could help ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila, which is a major bottleneck for logistics,” he added.

Likewise, improved logistics could lead to increased investment and expansion of industries in Subic, Clark and Batangas and likely generate more jobs and stimulate economic growth along the corridor, according to Romualdez. 

He emphasized that this collaboration with the United States and Japan underscores the importance of fostering strong international partnerships to address the nation’s infrastructure needs and propel sustainable development. 

As the Subic-Clark-Batangas Railway takes shape, it is poised to become a cornerstone of the country’s economic landscape, driving progress, and opening up new possibilities for generations to come, the Speaker noted.

“President Marcos, Jr. can count on the unwavering support of the entire House of Representatives for this transformative initiative and looks forward to witnessing its profound impact on the Philippines’ growth trajectory,” Romualdez said.

He expressed hope for a successful implementation of the US-Japan-PH collaborative effort noting this could provide the impetus to replicate a similar project in other in other key areas of the country, particularly in Mindanao. 

Formally launched in June 2022 at the G7 Summit in Germany, the PGI offers low and middle-income countries financing choices for infrastructure development to advance climate and energy security, digital connectivity, health security, as well as gender equality and equity priorities. 

Through the PGI, the G7 aims to mobilize USD600 billion in public and private funding for infrastructure by 2027, in particular.