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DOTr inks multi-billion PNR Bicol deal with Chinese venture

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The Department of Transportation has signed the single largest rail contract for the Philippine National Railway Bicol Project with a Chinese consortium.

“On January 17, 2022, we have broken yet another record by signing the single largest rail contract of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the PNR Bicol Project’s first 380 kilometers from Banlic, Calamba to Daraga, Albay,” said DOTr Secretary Art Tugade.

“This milestone is a huge leap towards realizing this long-awaited PNR Bicol or the South Long Haul Project. We are grateful to our development partners from China for supporting us in this endeavor and believing that the Filipino people deserve an improved quality of life,” he added.

Tugade said that he signed the P142-billion design-build contract with the venture of China Railway Group Ltd., China Railway No. 3 Engineering Group Co. Ltd., and China Railway Engineering Consulting Group Co. Ltd.

“Listed in both the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchange, CREC JV ranked 35th on the Fortune Global 500 list and 5th among China’s top 500 enterprises in 2021,” Tugade said.

According to the Secretary, the first 380 kilometers of PNR Bicol from Banlic, Calamba to Daraga, Albay will span 39 cities and municipalities, 4 provinces, and 2 regions.

It will also involve the construction of 23 stations, 230 bridges, 10 passenger tunnels, and a 70-hectare depot in San Pablo, Laguna.

“The entire PNR Bicol project will consist of a 565-kilometer railway, connecting Metro Manila to the provinces of Sorsogon and Batangas. Once fully operational, it will cut travel time between Metro Manila and Bicol from the current 12 hours by road to as short as 4 hours,” said Tugade.

“Passenger trains will run at a speed of up to 160 kilometers per hour, while freight trains will run at a speed of up to 100 kilometers per hour. During construction, the project is expected to generate more than 5,000 direct jobs per year,” he added.