THE BASES Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said it is in talks with Hong Kong’s MTR Corp., as well as an unidentified Japanese company, to explore possible partnerships for its planned 55-kilometer railway linking Clark Green City to the Luzon rail system.
The BCDA is still in exploratory talks with MTR, according to BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Arnel Paciano D. Casanova, though he declined to disclose further information on the Japanese party, citing a non-disclosure agreement.
“We are also open to unsolicited proposals,” he told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of the Philippine Infrastructure Seminar at the New World Hotel in Makati.
“We will combine our property and their expertise. We want someone who can really deliver,” Mr. Casanova added.
He declined to provide a timetable for the railway and noted that this is not a prerequisite for the bidding of the Clark Green City because the project is already connected to Metro Manila via tollways.
“We are focusing our energies on successfully bidding out the first parcel of Clark Green City and depending on that success, we will move forward,” he said.
Major developers, including Robinsons Land Corp., Ayala Land, Inc., Megaworld Corp., Filinvest Land, Inc. and Century Properties Group, Inc. have expressed their interest in the project “and they did that in writing,” he said.
The BCDA will publish the terms of reference on Feb. 26 and the submission of bids will be in April, he said.
The proposed North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) will run from Malolos to Calamba City, making it the prime candidate for any Clark link-up.
NSCR is the first phase of the Integrated Luzon Railway Project, which covers the abandoned Mainline North from Metro Manila to San Fernando, La Union and the suspended Mainline South from Metro Manila to Legazpi City, Albay. It also includes the abandoned spur lines to the North from San Jose, Nueva Ecija to Cagayan and from Legaspi City to Sorsogon, as well as the possible revival of the Batangas line.
Mr. Casanova said Hong Kong’s MTR system is “probably the most profitable and sustainable” railway model because of passenger volume and the presence of other sources of revenue, such as retail and commercial operations, within the vicinity of its train stations.
According to the official brief, the 9,450-hectare Clark Green City at the Clark Special Economic Zone “is envisioned to become the Philippines’ most modern and the first technologically integrated city with a mix of residential, commercial, agro-industrial, institutional and information technology developments at the same time having a green, sustainable and intelligent community for its residents, workers and business establishments”.
Source: Dec 23 Business World