President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday witnessed the signing ceremony in Malacañang of the $1.3-billion loan agreement for the Malolos-Clark Railway Project (MCRP) between the government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Signing for the Philippine government was Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and ADB Vice President Ahmed Saeed.
The $6.1-billion Malolos-Clark Railway Project is a major project under the administration’s Build, Build, Build infrastructure program. As the country’s first airport express railway service, MCRP will be co-financed by the ADB and by the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The 53.1-kilometer MCRP is a section of the 163-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) System, a rail network designed to connect New Clark City, Clark and Clark International Airport (CIA) to Manila and Calamba by 2025.
Once completed, the project will provide affordable, reliable, and safe public transport system and will cut travel time from Manila to CIA to less than one hour from the current travel time of two to three hours by car or bus.
“I am directing the Department of Transportation to fast track the completion of the MCRP and observe the highest quality standards as we complete this railway project,” President Duterte said in a speech during the signing ceremony.
“By the time it is completed, I expect that our people, especially those from Central Luzon, will greatly feel the impact of our Build, Build, Build program.”
“As we pursue these endeavors, I expect you to embody excellence, integrity, and accountability of us here in government as we journey towards inclusive and sustainable growth.”
2019 GOCC Day
The President also joined officials and employees of Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) in celebrating the GOCC Day.
“The success of our GOCCs is crucial to the achievement of our national development agenda. Through the years, their remittances have gone a long way in helping us fund our most important infrastructure projects and social programs,” the President said during the event.
He expressed his gratitude to the GOCCs for the P40 billion remittances for 2018 — a 32 percent increase from the 2017 figure and the highest in 25 years, encouraging them to intensify efforts towards efficiency.
The DOF reported that last year, eight GOCCs contributed at least P1 billion in cash dividend remittances. The DOF also allowed the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to retain their contributions of P3.24 billion and P7.82 billion, respectively, to boost their capital requirements.
The GOCC Day is a ceremonial turnover of dividends to the national government that started in 2011. It is hosted by the Department of Finance (DOF), which has an oversight over GOCCs.
The 2019 new generation banknotes bearing the signature of Benjamin Diokno, the fifth Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor, was also presented Thursday.
The Chief Executive received the 2019 new generation banknotes together with BSP Gov. Benjamin Diokno and Senior Assistant Gov. Dahlia Luna and members of the monetary board. PND