Salceda questions split of Manila-Legazpi railway project

LEGAZPI CITY--Congressman-elect and outgoing Albay Governor Joey Salceda questioned the splitting into two of the Manila-Legazpi railway project, also known as the North-South Railway Project (NSRP) South Line.

Joey Salceda
The split entails the bidding out to separate private sector proponents the planned commuter railway and the long-haul railway.

The NSRP South Line is estimated to run 653 milometers. It includes a commuter railway between Tutuban in Manila and Calamba in Laguna Province, as well as the long haul operations to Legazpi.

On his Facebook account, he said the "splitting was never, never endorsed by the regions to be affected."

"Procedurally, the ICC is bypassing the RDCs [Regional Development Councils]. Definitely, RDC V as far as I know is against this splitting since it favors the commuter railways by rewarding it with higher returns while the expenditure will essentially be reimbursed," Salceda claimed.

"The idea is for the commuter rail (Tutuban-Calamba) to subsidize the long haul (Calamba-Legazpi). This ICC decisions, prompted by the same DOTC, reflects regulatory capture of PPP via proponent implementing NG agency. In Congress, we will work with the new DOTC to 1. return to the full line (Tutuban-Legazpi) 2. shift from narrow to standard to allow faster trains. What is dismaying is that these changes are being made in the midnight of an outgoing DOTC," he explained.

"We oppose the sudden change in terms of reference, the lack of consultations with affected RDCs and the tasteless timing. Our people have aspired and waited for this for 30 years. Your RDC and the Luzon RDCom have worked on this specific project for the past 5 years. Pero, no matter how frustrated, we will never give up and we have highest hopes in President Rody," Salceda stated.--BICOLSTANDARD.COM


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