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MANILA — President Benigno S. Aquino III is looking forward to the full operations of a new railway line that will provide efficient, affordable mass transportation service between Metro Manila and Cavite by 2015.

The President said he would be “very severely disappointed” if he can’t ride in the Light Rail Transit (LRT) travelling along the south extension line by 2015.

The P61.53-billion LRT 1 south extension project, the President said, is among the 12 major projects costing P133 billion approved last week by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).[box type=”default” size=”large”] LRT project stretches from Baclaran to Bacoor, Cavite [/box]The project involves the construction of eight passenger stations with provision for two more stations and the extension of the 15-kilometer LRT line 1 that ends in Baclaran to Bacoor, Cavite. It will be funded through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) with P30.93 billion from the private sector and P30.59 billion from the government.

“I have full faith that Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas will have this extension operational at the soonest possible time. And if I haven’t ridden in it by 2015, I will be very severely disappointed,” the President said, during an investment forum in Makati City.

“That, in a little while, we will be able to expand transportation, and open the gates a little wider between Metro Manila’s economy and not just Cavite but the entire CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region’s economy,” he said.

Aquino said the LRT 1 south project will extend the existing railway by almost 12 kilometers “from Baclaran, through Parañaque and Las Piñas, to Bacoor, Cavite — and, with a little luck, perhaps points further down.”

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Aside from providing safe and reliable transportation in Metro Manila and the suburbs, the new project also seeks to ease the traffic in the Parañaque-Las Piñas-Cavite area and spur commercial development around the rail stations. (Manila Bulletin)