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Breaking yet another record, Secretary Art Tugade signed the DOTr's single largest rail contract on 17 January 2022, for the PNR Bicol Project's first 380 kilometers from Banlic, Calamba to Daraga, Albay.
 
With a contract amount of P142-billion, the Design-Build contract was signed with the Joint Venture of China Railway Group Ltd., China Railway No. 3 Engineering Group Co., Ltd., and China Railway Engineering Consulting Group Co., Ltd. (CREC JV), for the design, construction, and electromechanical works for the project.
 
“For our kababayans in the South who have dreamt of this project for so long, we are finally seeing the light of day. This milestone is a huge leap towards realizing this long-awaited project – the 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,” DOTr Secretary Art Tugade expressed.
 
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.
 
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 involve the construction of 23 stations, 230 bridges, 10 passenger tunnels, and a 70-hectare depot in San Pablo, Laguna.
 
“We welcome this development full of enthusiasm as we will be working with rail experts known for their efficiency and speed in building long haul railways. This, along with our earnest goal to provide comfort and convenience to our commuters, will make this dream project a reality,” PNR General Manager Junn Magno said. 
 
Along with its future segments, PNR Bicol will consist of a 565-kilometer railway, connecting Metro Manila to the southern Luzon 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. 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.
 
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DOTr Press Release
18 January 2022