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NGO cites key role of Subic-Clark railway project for Central Luzon transport

An umbrella organization of private sector groups and businesses supporting the Angeles Watershed Rehabilitation Program on Sunday cited the important role of the Subic-Clark Railway Project (SCRP) as a component of the national government’s expanded services for transportation.

In a resolution recently signed by its board, the Abacan River and Angeles Watershed Advocacy Council, Inc. (Araw-ACI) recognized the importance of the project as a component of the Luzon Railway System.

The SCRP is a 71-kilometer freight railway connecting the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) and Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ), providing a link between the Port of Subic Bay (PSB) and Clark International Airport (CRK).

“Whereas, the SCRP is designed to support the current industrial activities and potential demand for freight and future passenger services along the Subic-Clark Corridor,” the resolution read in part.

“The SCRP will work as an alternative transportation for businesses and industries needing freight services considering that the movement of logistics from Clark Freeport Zone to Subic or Manila and vise versa is currently being done via trucking shipments through the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and North Luzon Expressway (NLEX),” the Araw-ACI said in Board Resolution 1.

Renato Tayag Jr., president of Araw-ACI, said a railway system for freight services has been long overdue for Central Luzon.

“The business sector and the investors eyeing urban centers in Luzon have been waiting for transportation infrastructure that will support the economic activities here,” he said.

Tayag added that Araw-ACI also recognizes the initiatives of the national government to decongest traffic in Metro Manila, especially port traffic at Manila Port.

“We need alternative transportation systems that would complement the growing demand for logistics services. The business sector groups in Pampanga and Angeles City understand this need,” he said.

“And in our future plans for sustainable development, we also take into consideration the balance between the needed infrastructure and the sustainability of our resources for energy, food, and most importantly, water,” he added.

“Thus, we want to emphasize that as we support the SCRP, we are also willing to monitor its construction and development,” Tayag said.

“We are aware that the national government proponents secured an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) and there is an environmental management plan that shall provide guidelines in implementing mitigation measures to lessen the impact of the project to the environment,” he said.