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Roque wants to revive ‘Bicol Express’ railway

LEGAZPI CITY – UniTeam senatorial candidate Harry Roquehas assured Bicolanos of fast travel and efficient product delivery once the ‘Bicol Express’ train route connecting Manila to the Bicol Region becomes fully operational.

Roque said that travel from Manila to Bicol and vice versawould only take five hours for passengers with the resumption of the express train.

“Ipagpapatuloy po natin ang proyekto na Bicol Express. Ibabalikpo natin ang tren mula Maynila hanggang Legazpi pero pong pagkakaiba, tatakbo po ito at 142 kilometers per hour, ibigsabihin limang oras na lang po ang biyahe papunta ng Legazpi,” he said.

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

The Duterte administration has begun the construction of a new 560-km Bicol Express line. Package 1 covers the first 380 kilometers from Banlic, Calamba to Daraga, Albay, according to PNR General Manager Junn Magno. It is expected to be completed by 2024 and start operation by the third quarter of 2025.

On the other hand, the other PNR Bicol contract packages are expected to finish between 2024 and 2026, with the entire PNR Bicol line scheduled to be operational by 2027.

Roque said that when the Bicol Express becomes fully operational, speedy delivery of products and efficient commerce will boost the region’s income.

“Importante sa atin ang mabilis na biyahe. Kung mapapabilisnatin ang kalakaran ng hindi lang tao maski ang mga panindanatin, ito po ay magdudulot ng mas malaking kita para po sabuong Bicolandia,” he said.

“Dapat lamang po na maihatid ang mga pasahero ng mabilis at ligtas. Gayundin po ang ating mag produkto,” Roque added.

Meanwhile, Roque also vowed to help Bicol after natural calamities and shared that President Rodrigo Duterte never failed to help the region even though it is not perceived as an “ally.”

“Ang tulong binibigay sa nangangailangan kakampi o hindi at iyan po ang ginawa ni Presidente Duterte sa sunod-sunod napagputok ng bulkan at bagyo na sumalanta sa Bicol region,” he said.


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