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PNR’s reopening of Naga-Ligao route to fire up economic activities

By Rhaydz B. Barcia

LEGAZPI CITY --- Rep. Fernando Cabredo of the 3rd district of Albay said that the resumption of the Philippine National Railways operation in Ligao and Naga route will capacitate the transportation service and boost the tourism and economic growth in the Bicol Region.

“The opening of the PNR Ligao City station in Albay province will bring improved transportation, enhanced connectivity with Naga City, economic growth opportunities, tourism potential, regional integration, and environmental benefits for Ligao City and its neighboring towns,” Cabredo said.

The reopening of PNR operation started on Monday six years after the Philippine National Railways (PNR) suspended its operation in the two Bicol provinces.

In a post by Philippine National Railways, it said that the daily train trips between Albay and Camarines Sur will be done twice a day.

The PNR’s first trip from Ligao City in Albay bound to and Naga City in Camarines Sur, will start at 5:30 a.m. It will be followed by a second trip from Naga to Ligao at around 5:30 p.m.

Each way, travel time is two hours and 11 minutes using a diesel hydraulic locomotive engine with five passenger coaches that can carry up to 1,300 passengers. PortCalls website/Photo from PNR.

Fare starts at P15.00 after the first station. However, a passenger could pay up to P105 if he or she wishes to ride from Ligao to Naga vice versa or end to end.

The twice a day trips will have flag stops in the municipalities of Pili, Baao, and Bato and Iriga City in Camarines Sur; and in Polangui and Oas in Albay. The route is part of the Bicol Commuter service.

The expected travel time from Ligao to Naga route is around two hours and 11 minutes using a Diesel Hydraulic Locomotive (DHL), which is shorter than the usual travel time passing through the Maharlika Highway.

At least nine stations would then be operational to serve the public in different parts of Albay and Camarines Sur which include: Naga, Pili, Baao, Iriga, Bato in Camarines Sur and in Matacon, Polangui, Oas and Ligao in Albay.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in his State of the Nation Address last July 24, vowed to strengthen the railway system including the creation of new rail systems across the country.

The new rail projects under the Marcos administration span over 1,000 kilometers.

Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda said that the railway system is the shortest of all major ASEAN economies, which reduces the Philippines in terms of logistics costs and prevents meaningful interconnectivity among the manufacturing centers and ports of entry and exit.

“We are, in other words, unable to transport cargo in mass across the country. In terms of railway length among major economies in the neighbourhood, we only beat Singapore, and understandably so, given the city-state’s size,” Salceda said.

The PNR suspended the Naga-Legazpi route last April 2017 due to the lack of rolling stock and was aggravated by the series of typhoons that destroyed the railroad track or line in Bicol Region due to natural calamities.


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