The plan of president Rodrigo Duterte to pivot the country’s economic alliance with China will soon be tested.
The Philippines may soon join the ranks of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan among the Asian countries with a high-speed rail system or bullet train.
On the sidelines of an inquiry by the House transportation committee, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Martin Diño revealed the country’s first-ever “bullet train” would be built between Subic in Zambales and Clark in Pampanga.
Diño said the bullet train project will be carried out through a public-private partnership with a Chinese company. He did not name the firm.
Diño said discussions on the railway project would be part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s state visit to China on October 18 to 21.
The Clark-Subic bullet train is among the topics President Rodrigo Duterte will discuss with the Chinese when he visits China next week, according to the SBMA official.
“It is our first bullet train. Hopefully, magawa agad,” he told reporters.
High-speed trains usually operate at speeds of around 200 km per hour, while Japan’s famous bullet trains or shinkansen can run at maximum speeds of more than 300 km/h.
In comparison, trains of the Metro Rail Transit, Light Rail Transit, and Philippine National Railways run at average speeds of 40 km/h.
Details of the distance is not yet revealed, but the current distance from Clark to Subic by land is around 85 kilometers.
Duterte said he will also ask China to build railways and trains in Mindanao.