The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) are to help the Government of the Philippines prepare its largest public-private partnership (PPP) project to date to turn the South Line of the country’s North-South Railway into a dynamic commuter and long-haul service.
The agreement signed by ADB and DBP to provide joint advice to the Department of Transportation and Communications on the PPP structure and bidding process, marks ADB’s first transaction advisory service in the Philippines and its first in the transport sector.
“The North-South Railway is the backbone of transport in the Philippines and swifter links between the southern provinces and the capital city will mean more people can reap the rewards of the country’s strong economic growth. As a major part of the ASEAN transport web, the project will also help connect the Philippines better to the rest of the region,” said Ryuichi Kaga, Head of ADB’s Office of Public-Private Partnership.
The $3.8 billion project will build or upgrade 653 kilometers of rail lines from Manila through Legaspi City down to Matnog in the far south of the main island of Luzon, and to Batangas in southwest Luzon. Commuter rail operations will be upgraded for the 56 kilometers from Manila to Calamba. The line is intended to connect seamlessly with existing and planned light railway and metro rail transit lines in Metro Manila.
The project is considered one of 15 key projects for ASEAN connectivity.