North Rail Coming to Pampanga

Pampanga prides itself with a growing business process outsourcing industry. It has a lot to offer when it comes to call center businesses that’s why more foreign investors are fascinated with the idea of putting up their venture here. Now that a huge railway project is on its way, Pampanga might secure a better position in the global outsourcing market. Here we will discuss the ongoing first phase North rail project and how this can make Pampanga one of the most attractive locations for BPO businesses.

Philippine North Railways Project

Manila Clark Rapid Railway System (MCRS) aspires to create a first class train line system that would travel at 100 to 130 kilometers per hour and would also be equipped with advancing potential of superior speeds and facilities. Once the project is completed, it is anticipated that it would ease congestion in Metro Manila. The project is expected to prompt dispersal of Manila’s population towards Central Luzon and, possibly, Northern Luzon.

With the anticipated decrease in travel time as well as lower costs of living, employees and students in Manila may be attracted to live in Central Luzon. The project centers at Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) and around stations. Most call centers in Pampanga are situated in Clark Freeport Zone which is the location of DMIA. Outsourcing businesses in CFZ are thriving and are expected to grow continuously.

North Rail Project Phase 1

According to North Luzon Railways Corporation, the design and civil works for the North Rail project phase 1 started in October 2007. The project entails the construction of a 76.60 kilometers rail line with double track narrow gauge. The rail will be in between Caloocan City to Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ), Pampanga. This railway project aims to reopen rail service to the North and to make Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) the regional center for logistics in Asia Pacific. It will be the key to shift some of the air traffic in Metro Manila to DMIA.

Sections of Train Line Project Phase 1

Section 1: Caloocan City – Malolos, Bulacan (31.93 kilometers)
Section 2: Malolos, Bulacan – Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga (44.14 kilometers)

North Rail Project Information

  • Implementing Agency: North Rail Corporation under the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA)
  • Implementation Mode: Former China National Machinery and Equipment Group (CNMEG), now known as Sinomach manages the contract, design and construction. Consultancy aspect will be carried out by Systra-ESCA-SPI on a joint undertaking.

According to Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) Secretary Mar Roxas II, the contractor for the project will be changed. It would again be bid out so a highly skilled contractor could handle it.

  • Funding Source: China Overseas Development Assistance (ODA)/ China EXIM Bank/ Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA)/ North Rail Corporation
  • Cost of Project: Section 1 (Caloocan City – Malolos, Bulacan) US$602.42 million or Php 30,121.00 million
  • Project Duration of Train Line Phase 1: The anticipated date of completion is on July 2012. However, because of controversies on the North rail project, the cut-off date to finish the first phase was moved to 2013.

Pampanga’s Big Assets to Invade the Global Outsourcing Market

Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA)


DMIA is one of the largest aviation complexes in Asia. It has two runways in parallel configuration that can be expanded to four (4) kilometers to be able to cater to new wide-bodied airplanes. It boasts its modernamenities, navigational aids and lighting facilities.

Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ)

As a special economic zone, CFZ provides duly-registered ventures duty and tax incentives. Inside Clark, first-class infrastructures and state-of-the-art facilities can be found. Clark is a former American military base and up until now, it has managed to keep unyielding security amenities in and around its boundaries. The Philippine Air Force Base is also located in CFZ, this means that it adds support to Clark’s security facilities.

CFZ is also recognized for its capability to cater information and communication technology needs, specifically to the BPO industry.  Clark has satisfied the following essential requisites:

  • telecommunication facilities (with dual, redundant pipeline internet)
  • power facilities
  • transportation infrastructure
  • real estate
  • LGUs and community support
  • workforce availability

Looking at these assets Pampanga has to offer, it is undeniably a great place to put up a call center business. Once the North rail project is completed, the potential of these assets will be maximized and can make Pampanga the number one location for BPO ventures in the Philippines. Economic activities in Metro Manila will shift in Pampanga. The railway project will make this place very accessible and dependable not just to call centers but to most ventures and people.

Metro Manila is congested nowadays. Pampanga, with its assets and the North railway completed, can rule the competition of the outsourcing industry.