DOTr signs ₱142-B contract for PNR Bicol

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 18) — The country's Transportation chief signed a contract worth ₱142 billion with a Chinese joint venture for the first phase of the PNR (Philippine National Railways) Bicol.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) described it as the agency's "single largest rail contract."

In a statement, the DOTr said its chief Arthur Tugade inked on Monday the Design-Build contract 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).

The deal would entail the design, construction, and electromechanical works for the first 380 kilometers of the project — from Banlic, Calamba to Daraga, Albay.

The DOTr added that the agreement involves the construction of 23 stations, 230 bridges, 10 passenger tunnels, and a 70-hectare depot in San Pablo, Laguna.

The PNR Bicol is a 565-kilometer railway, which is envisioned to connect Metro Manila to the southern Luzon provinces of Sorsogon and Batangas.

Once up and running, travel time between the capital region and Bicol would be reduced to just four hours from the current 12.