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The ‘Bicol Express’ will reduce travel time between Manila and Legazpi to just 5 hours: Roque

LEGAZPI CITY, PHILIPPINES – Once the “Bicol Express” train system between Manila and the Bicol Region is fully operational, UniTeam senatorial candidate Harry Roque has pledged Bicolanos of rapid travel and efficient goods delivery.

Roque said in a statement on Thursday that the reopening of the fast train would cut travel time from Manila to Bicol and vice versa to just five hours.

“Ipagpapatuloy natin ang Bicol Express project.” Ibabalik po natin ang tren mula Maynila-Legazpi, pero pong pagkakaiba, tatakbo po natin at 142 km/h, ibig sabihin limang oras na lang po ang biyahe papunta ng Legazpi. (The Bicol Express project will be continued.) We will resume the Manila-Legazpi route at 142 kilometers per hour, which implies the trip to Legazpi will take only five hours),” he said.

The Philippine National Railways’ (PNR) “Bicol Express” train ran from the 1930s to the early 2000s, until it was shut down in 2006 due to damage caused by Typhoons “Reming” and “Milenyo.”

The Duterte administration has started building a new 560-kilometer Bicol Express route. According to PNR General Manager Junn Magno, Package 1 covers the first 380 kilometers from Banlic, Calamba to Daraga, Albay. It is scheduled to be finished in 2024 and operational in the third quarter of 2025.

The other PNR Bicol contract packages, on the other hand, are slated to be completed between 2024 and 2026, with the entire PNR Bicol line expected to be operating by 2027.

Roque further stated that once the Bicol Express is completely functioning, the region’s income will be boosted by faster goods delivery and more efficient trade.

“Ang mabilis na biyahe ay important sa atin. Ang mga paninda natin mapapabilis ang kalakaran ng hindi lang tao maski. Ito ay magdudulot ng mas malaking kita para ang buong Bicolandia. This will generate greater revenue for Bicolandia as a whole),” he stated.

Meanwhile, Roque has promised to assist Bicol, which has been hit by natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions and typhoons in the past. President Rodrigo Duterte, he claimed, has never failed to assist the region, despite the fact that it is not considered an “ally.”

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