TRANSPORTATION Secretary Arthur Tugade asked displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and public transport drivers to the work force of the ongoing projects of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Tugade said he wants the workers displaced by the Covid-pandemic to be hired and work in DOTr projects like the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 1 Project.
During the inspection of the Valenzuela and Bulacan segments of the PNR Clark Phase 1 Project on May 26, Tugade said some 200 former OFWs are now working in the project and he encouraged more displaced OFWs to join.
“Nakita n’yo mga tao dito kanina? Sila ay mga overseas Filipino workers (OFW). Kulang-kulang 200 silang nagta-trabaho dito. Ang sabi ko sa mga contractor, paramihin n’yo pa. Kung mayroon kayong kapitbahay, kamag-anak, mahal sa buhay, kaibigan na gustong maghanapbuhay, papuntahin n’yo dito. Kung qualified, tutulungan natin. Para nang sa gayon ‘yung 200 ay madagdagan pa,” Tugade said.
The DOTr chief also called on other displaced workers in the transport sector, including PUV drivers who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, to work in DOTr projects.
“Kung may mga kakilala kayong mga kunduktor, mga jeepney driver na gustong maghanapbuhay, kung qualified eh pumunta dito at bibigyan natin sila ng pagkakataon,” Tugade said.
At least 7,500 workers were employed during the construction of the project, while 2,000 additional jobs will be made available once the project becomes operational, said Tugade.
The PNR Clark Phase 1, the railway system that will connect Tutuban in Manila and Malolos in Bulacan, is now at 45.82 percent overall progress rate.
Upon completion, the 38-kilometer rail line is aimed to carry 300,000 passengers daily, and shorten travel time from Malolos, Bulacan to Tutuban, Manila in just 35 minutes, as compared to the previous 1 hour and 30 minutes.
The PNR Clark Phase 1 forms part of the big-ticket 148-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway project under the massive “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration.