THE Pinoy Gumising Ka Movement (PGKM) has described as redundant the P50-billion Subic-Clark Railway Project (SCRP).
PGKM chairman Ruperto Cruz called the project “anti-development and anti-progress.”
Cruz said the SCRP is redundant considering that an expressway -- the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) -- is used to transport goods and people from Subic to Clark and other parts of Luzon and vice versa.
The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) earlier stated that the P50-billion, 71-kilometer freight railway will connect Subic and Clark as a logistics corridor.
But the PGKM said the SCTEX already provides a seamless and reliable connection not only for cargo but also for people.
Cruz said that businessmen and truckers that ferry goods to and from Subic will be affected because of the cargo railway project.
“At this time of the pandemic, the SCRP should not be a priority because people will lose their jobs. We fear the SCRP will only become a white elephant and will be used to smuggle vehicles,” Cruz said.
Before the pandemic, Cruz said the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) has approved several locators for mixed brand vehicles and locators inside the Freeport are tax exempt making the SCRP conducive are for smuggling.
The PGKM also noted that the alignment of the SCRP encroaches on ongoing development in Porac and nearby areas.
“As it is, it will even pass through the Royal Garden golf course all the way to Clark,” Cruz said.
The Ayala Land development project is also in danger of being encroached by the alignment of the SCRP, according to the PGKM leader.
Earlier reports revealed that about 42 hectares of mangrove forest within the watershed reserve of Subic Bay Freeport are at risk because of the Subic-Clark Railway Project.
With this, the Department of Transportation ordered the Chinese contractor to find an alternative solution to address the issues.
The railway alignment will also pass through the Roosevelt protected landscapes, three ancestral domains and 37 villages in Bataan, Pampanga, the cities of Olongapo and Angeles, and Clark Freeport.