By Ding Cervantes Updated February 18, 2009 12:00 AM
[ philstar.com ]
MABALACAT, Pampanga, Philippines – This town’s mayor yesterday said a change in the alignment of the long-delayed Caloocan-to-Clark railway project would spare some 5,000 families here from being relocated.
Mayor Marino Morales said the proposed railway will no longer take the path of the old tracks of the Philippine National Railways here, but will be shortened to head straight to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport at the Clark Freeport.
Because of this change, some 5,000 families living along the old railways in Barangays Lakandula, San Francisco, Dau and Mabiga no longer need to be relocated.
During his visit to this town last Jan. 25, Vice President Noli de Castro, who chairs the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) in charge of relocating families along the railway path, admitted that only the stretch up to Malolos, Bulacan of the long-delayed 83-kilometer Caloocan-to-Clark North Railway (Northrail) project will likely be finished by the end of President Arroyo’s term next year.
But De Castro said the HUDCC will push through with relocating informal settlers along the Northrail’s path in Pampanga regardless of the delay in the project.
Morales, however, said families here already spared from relocation could still opt to move to a resettlement site in Barangay Atlu Bola for other families still to be displaced by the railway project.