The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is the executive department of the Philippine government tasked to provide the public the transport the country needs. As part of the Build Build Build! Administration by our dearest President Rodrigo Duterte, one of the most awaited projects would be the Manila to Bicol and vice versa railway or more commonly known as the Bicol PNR Project.
Yes, there are plans to construct a railway that would allow people to traverse from Bicol to Manila in just a single ride. With buses and other public transport, one can go from the Capital City of the Philippines to one of the most popular provinces but having a railway that would take them directly to it in one go? It’s a dream come true for most people.
Manila to Bicol Railway or the Bicol PNR project details
The railway is just one of the many construction projects to complement how the society uses long and boring public transport. As per reports, the railway would run 639 kilometers bringing better and easier service for people to travel from Bicol to Manila and vice versa.
Timothy John Batan, the UnderSecretary of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for railways, mentioned thhat the railway line will be funded by Chinese government and was actually being planned to begin in the next few weeks.
The good thing in the commitment of the Chinese government is the eventual contractor will not wait for the loan agreement to be signed before they start working.”
Formally, the train line project is known to be the Philippipne National Railways (PNR) Long-Haul Project and will have a cost of around P175 billion. Incidentally, it will become the most expensive project under the Build, Build, Build! Infrastructure program of President Duterte’s Administration.
Is the project approved in terms of other factors in society?
Firstly, they won’t have the operational plan and the funds if they haven’t been approved. As a matter of fact, the Bicol PNR project was dully authorized by the National Economic and Develoment Authority (NEDA) through its Official developmental assistance (ODA) from the national Chinese government. So, the plans were inaugurated and is now being drafted on how they would pursue the project.
Earlier, the DOTr made the announcement that the Bicol PNR project will be operational, but not fully, before President Duterte steps down from his position in the year 2022.
What would the Bicol PNR Project connect?
When the specific railway gets completed, the line will be connecting Regions 4-A, 5, and Metro Manila in just one single railway. Three (3) regions will benefit and will have the complete ability to be traversed in less than half of the original travel time that we have currently.
Furthermore, reports said that it will substantially decrease the travel time from Legazpi City to Manila, and vice versa, by seven (7) hours or more; from the current thirteen-hour (13) travel time to just six (6) hours or less!
Who will construct the Bicol PNR Project?
As of the moment, the bidding reference terms are still being formulated by the China Railway Design Corporation (CRDC) and is not yet in its final form.
More so, the formal management consultant of this project would be the China Railway Design Corporation.
The Bicol PNR Project is just one of the many projects to fully maximize the efficiency of the transport here in our country. In addition to the Manila to Bicol Railway, the government also looks at the avenue of constructing a Mindanao Rail Project which would have essential aid from the Chinese government, too.
The MRP would link Davao to Cagayan De Oro (CDO), Iligan City, Zamboanga, and General Santos City (Gensan) and will run for 100 kilometers through Digos and Tagum Davao. Based on data, should the Mindanao Railway Projects receives its permission, it would have an initial budget cost of P35 billion.
In the current Administration, it is quite evident that the transportation system is one of the to priorities. How would our country look like in the years to come? Would people be able to feel the changes that the Duterte Administration promised? Let’s wait and hope that all of the projects underway is for the betterment of society.