MANILA, Philippines – President Duterte led the official opening of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Lucena-San Pablo commuter line yesterday in San Pablo City, Laguna.
The President, accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Transport (DOTr) and the PNR, inspected the prepositioned train and led the ceremonial ringing of the bell, signaling the resumption of operations of the PNR Lucena-San Pablo commuter line.
Duterte said the 44-kilometer Interprovincial Commuter Railroad cut travel time between San Pablo, Laguna and Lucena, Quezon from one hour to 30 minutes.
“Indeed, this project is proof of our commitment to improving mobility and connectivity across the archipelago by improving our routes and bringing convenience to our fellow Filipinos,” the president said in a speech.
The PNR Lucena-San Pablo commuter line is part of the 560 kilometer PNR Bicol Express that connects Metro Manila to the southern Luzon provinces of Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur and Sorsogon.
“This is also a critical step towards the restoration of the PNR Bicol Express which will connect Metro Manila to the southern provinces of Luzon and Bicol,” Duterte said.
He urged the next administration to continue improving the country’s railway system.
“I hope you never lose sight of this goal, as improving this vital transport connection will be key to opening up better opportunities for our compatriots,” he said.
“We know that with efficient public transport systems, we make places more accessible and easier to manage, thus enhancing exchanges between rural and urban areas. In addition, we can boost our tourism sector, given the attractions and monuments located near the terminals of this railway,” the president said.