Work on the P255 billion Manila-Clark Railway will be conducted on a 24/7 basis when its construction works towards the last quarter of this year, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said Monday.
People "will be eager to see ... shovels, bulldozers and cranes humming ... day and night in a 24/7 regimen," the Cabinet official claimed during the marking ceremony of the railway's first five stations in Caloocan City.
The five stations that were marked on Monday were Marilao, Meycauayan, Valenzuela, Caloocan, and Tutuban.
The other stations are Solis, Bocaue, Balagtas, Guiguinto, Malolos, Calumpit, Apalit, San Fernando, Angeles, Clark, Clark International Airport and New Clark City.
The project is funded by official development assistance (ODA) from Japan.
In a separate statement, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the 106-kilometer railway will reduce travel time from Tutuban in Manila to Clark in Pampanga to 55 minutes from two to three hours.
"This will be the first time that a commuter rail project will be extended to Central Luzon," it said.
Construction work is set to begin in the fourth quarter of the year, and the project is expected to be completed in 2021.
Last year, Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin M. Diokno said the Duterte administration intends to fast-track infrastructure development by pushing for 24/7 construction works.
The government intends to spend P8.4 trillion on the country's golden age of infrastructure over the next six years, with P860.7 billion allocated to large-scale projects like this one this year. — Jon Viktor Cabuenas/VDS/KVD, GMA News