By Elijah Felice Rosales, August 2, 2022; The Philippine Star

Manila, Philippines — The government has received renewed interest from private firms to put up two railway projects in Metro Manila worth P154 billion in line with the Marcos administration’s preference for public-private partnerships (PPP).

In an interview with reporters yesterday, Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez said the policy shift to PPP could pave the way for private proponents of the East-West rail project and the Metro Rail Transit Line 11 (MRT-11) project to pursue their plans.

Chavez said both projects have yet to be approved by the National Economic and Development Authority.

“These projects are unsolicited proposals so you have two PPPs already. Of course, we have so many in the pipeline,” he said.

The East-West rail project amounting to P72.08 billion involves the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of an elevated railway spanning 9.4 kilometers.

The rail line will link Diliman, Quezon City to Lerma in Manila and will host interconnecting facilities to other railways.

The project was proposed by the East-West Rail Corp. and AlloyMTD. It will be implemented by the Philippine National Railways.

The MRT-11 project amounting to P81.79 billion seeks to construct an 18-kilometer railway from Balintawak, Quezon City to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan.

Based on the proposal, the railway will include a passenger transfer facility adjacent to the Balintawak station of the Light Rail Transit Line 1.

The project was proposed by the Aerorail Integrated Transport Services Inc. and will be under the supervision of the Department of Transportation.

The railway is seen to improve the transport system in northern Metro Manila as it will cover parts of Quezon City, Caloocan and Bulacan.

The Marcos administration prefers that its infrastructure projects be funded by PPP to reduce borrowings in a bid to cut national debt.