China-Funded Subic-to-Clark Railway Project Worth P45.1 Billion a Go


An ambitious railway project that will link Subic Bay in Zambales to Clark in Pampanga has been signed between the governments of the Philippines and China.

China will fund the single-track freight railway project that is estimated to cost $940 million (P45.18 billion) and will measure 71 kilometers. It will connect the two former American military bases and will also link to the North Railway Project, which is currently under construction. 

The news was first reported by Nikkei Asia, based on the Facebook post of Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian dated January 16, 2021.

“Our cooperation continues!” the ambassador said. “China and the Philippines just signed the commercial contract for the Subic-Clark railway project. This is so far the highest funded G2G project between the two countries valued at approx. $940 million and is the flagship project under the administration's "Build, Build, Build" program.

“The 71-km single-track railway will be located in south-central Luzon, connecting Subic Bay Freeport Zone and Clark International Airport and linking the DOTr’s North Railway Project.


Construction of the railway will take 42 months or three and a half years. There has been no word yet on the actual start date of the project.

Photo by Facebook / Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian.

This is the biggest China-funded infrastructure project in the Philippines so far.

Ambassador Huang’s announcement of the project coincided with the visit to the Philippines of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. 

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Wang had relayed China’s plan to donate 500,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine to the Philippines. This is on top of the 25 million doses of Chinese company Sinovac Biotech's CoronaVac that the Philippines had already secured.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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