Speech by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the Contract Signing for the South Commuter Railway Project of the North-South Commuter Railway

Speeches 6 October 2022

Thank you very much for your kind introduction, Secretary Jimmy Bautista. [Please take your seats. You will have to excuse me, I’m still chewing on very tasty Turkish delights. I wish we could share it with everyone. Napakasarap.] 

His Excellency the Korean Ambassador Kim Inchul; a person who has had not a small part to play in bringing us to this point and this contract signing for all of the different sections of this program, this rail project that we were witnessing today, and I of course refer to Senator Mark Villar who in his capacity as Secretary of Department of Public Works and Highways was instrumental in bringing this to fruition [applause]; Governor Ramil Laurel Hernandez; the Calamba City Lone District Representative Charisse Anne Hernandez; the Turkey Chargé d’Affaires Ms. Ceren Nur Coskun, and thank you once again for the treats that you gave us; Calamba City Mayor Roseller Rizal; my fellow workers in government; all the distinguished guests that we have here from Laguna, from the Philippines, and of course our foreign partners in all of that we have been doing in this very important project; ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

I am pleased to join you to witness the contract signing of the South Commuter Railway Project of the North-South Commuter Railway System – Contract Packages S-04, S-05, S-06, and S-07.

I have just been informed that this is the largest ADB infrastructure-funded project in — that ADB has done in Asia. So that I think is significant in that… It shows the confidence that the ADB has always shown, our Korean partners have shown, our Japanese partners have shown in the potential of the Philippine economy, the Philippine worker, and especially now as we slowly transform the economy into the new global post-pandemic economy.

Those partnerships are something that we hold very, very valuable, and for that, I once again have to thank them for their continuing interest in the Philippines and their continuing assistance and support and belief in the Philippines and the future of the Philippines.We welcome this development at a time when we are going — and we have used this phrase often — full speed ahead towards modernization and our transport system and we are reclaiming our lives from the COVID-19 pandemic. This is what all of this truly means.

I of course greet and celebrate the efforts of the men and women of the Department of Transportation for this very important day. Your service and dedication to realize our vision of a truly connected and progressive Philippines help bring us closer to our collective success.

I likewise thank JICA and the Asian Development Bank for co-financing the North-South Commuter Railway System. Your faith in this endeavor, in this administration, in this country, as a whole is truly noteworthy and we are again most grateful.

The South Commuter Railway Project, consisting of a total of 56 kilometers between Manila and Laguna, is indeed a welcome development once it will be completed.

It will reduce the travel time between the two places from three hours to just one hour. It is also projected to accommodate up to 340,000 passengers a day.

As this forms part of the North-South Commuter Railway System, the South Commuter Railway Project is expected to contribute in seamlessly transporting passengers from Clark, Pampanga and Calamba City, Laguna, and all the train stations in between.

With the signing of these packages, we demonstrate to our people that we are serious about pursuing large projects for infrastructure to foster growth and revitalize our economy, in spite of the adjustments that we have had to make to compensate for the shocks that the world situation has brought to the Philippines.

Indeed, those efforts will all redound to the fulfillment of a more united and dynamic nation. I join our people in anticipating the eventual progress and completion of this railway project.

As your President, I will make sure that every resource that will be used here will be maximized for the success of this entire endeavor.

I thus call upon the Department of Transportation, all the concerned agencies, local government units, as well as our partners and other stakeholders, to ensure the smooth and faithful implementation of this essential undertaking.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that the tracks that we will be laying down here will lead us to that bright future we have all aspired to.

So, let us all work together, in the spirit of unity and cooperation, so that we can all build a future where we can thrive and achieve our goals and aspirations and also for all the generations to come.

Once again, I thank the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Asian Development Bank, the Department of Transportation, and to everyone who has worked hard and continues to work hard to accomplish this mission.

Thank you very much. Magandang umaga po sa inyo. Mabuhay po tayong lahat! [applause]

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SOURCE: OPS-PND (Presidential News Desk)