Monday, September 20, 2021

Group asks Senate, LGUs help on Subic-Clark railway issues

THE Pinoy Gumising Ka Movement (PGKM) has sought the help of local government units (LGUs) of Porac town and Angeles City in a bid to resolve several issues regarding the alignment of the Subic-Clark Railway Project (SCRP).

Aside from the LGUs, PGKM leader Ruperto Cruz said they will also ask the intercession of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to resolve the issues.

Cruz said earlier that hundreds of Kapampangan businessmen, farmers and residents will be affected by the proposed project.

The group recently sent letters to Angeles Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr. and Porac Mayor Jing Capil.

PGKM is calling for an immediate public consultation on the SCRP alignment, citing concerns on the socio-economic dislocation and devastation of the vast agricultural areas as well as the built-up commercial and housing developments that the railway will hit in this city and Clark Freeport.

“We write to you to seek your assistance in raising to the proper agencies our grave concerns over the Subic-Clark Railway Project which poses a clear and present danger to the socio-economic development of areas along the Subic-Clark corridor, our beloved city included, as well as its environmental impact therein,” stated the PGKM.

In a separate letter to Senator Richard Gordon, head of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, the PGKM reiterated its opposition to the SCRP alignment echoing the Save Subic Mangrove Coalition on the environmental impact of the project that is threatening protected areas inside the Subic Freeport.

Some 42 hectares of mangroves in the Subic Freeport, classified as protected areas, will be affected by the project’s train depot “that your honor yourself nurtured as its very first chairman.”

Cruz said farmers, landowners, housing developers, and business groups had coordinated with their group to organize a coalition to oppose the SCRP alignment.

“We add our voices in opposition to the environmental degradation the SCRP will cause, whether by tunneling or slicing, to the hinterlands of Porac and Floridablanca in Pampanga,” the PGKM stated.

“It is in this regard that we now come to seek your intervention via a hearing on the matter by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee,” it PGKM said.

Cruz said the Department of Transportation (DOTr) overseas the project as part of the Build, Build, Build Program of the Duterte administration.

The SCRP should have been aligned along the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), which is already catering to cargo and passengers as well connecting the two freeports with less than an hour travel time, according to Cruz.

"The SCTEX allignment is a win win solution. We will not oppose the project if it the railway will be built inside the expressway as the government proposed several years ago," the businessman added.


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