"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Thursday, September 29, 2005

NORTHRAIL PROJECT: Govt constructs wrong train

Senator Richard Gordon today deplored the unconstitutionality of the awarding of the contract without public bidding and lack of sense of planning in the construction of the North Luzon Railways Corporation (Northrail) project.

Gordon said the project violates RA 9184, the Government Procurement Reform Act of 2002, when it granted without competitive bidding the contract for the rehabilitation of the 32-kilometer rail line, stretching from Caloocan City to Bulacan, to the China National Machinery and Equipment Corp (CNMEC).

He also criticized the huge amount of money being put in the project for creating a commuter train instead of a new transport system that will address the needs of developing economic zones that will expand outside of Manila, specifically trailing to Central and Northern Luzon.

“They are building the wrong trains,” Gordon exclaimed adding that “the trains are merely for commuters and not for cargos and freight which should be the case as it is intended to support the 10-point agenda of the government which includes the development of Clark and Subic into transshipment and logistic hubs. We should be finding ways to decongest Manila and disperse industries to Central and Northern Luzon,” emphasized Gordon. He added that the project is constructing a “railroad of yesterday and not of tomorrow.”

“It is not fulfilling an economic need. The passenger demand in this transport need is questionable in the first place,” noted Gordon.

“During the turn of the century, we had the tram system, it evolved to the bus system. After WW2, we had the jeepneys, then the tricycle, but now we have further downgraded to the tricykad (tricycle-lakad). What has happened to us?” said Gordon.

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