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PNR to suspend operations in Metro Manila for NSCR construction

Starting on March 28

The temporary closure of the PNR is a big problem for commuters. PHOTO FROM PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS

The Department of Transportation has announced that the Philippine National Railways will temporarily stop its Governor Pascual-Tutuban and Tutuban-Alabang operations to give way to the construction of the North-South Commuter Railway in Metro Manila, starting on March 28.

The DOTr claims that this suspension will cut down the NSCR construction time by eight months, and save at least P15.18 billion. DOTr secretary Jaime Bautista said this is also to prevent exposing passengers to hazards arising from the construction.

People are concerned about the stops and the schedule of the buses. GRAPHICS FROM PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS

As a remedy, 25 public-utility buses will be deployed traveling between Tutuban and Alabang. This will be a collaboration between the DOTr and the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board with fares starting at P15 for the first kilometer and an additional P2.26 per kilometer.

According to other sources, the suspension will last for five years, which is a long time for the 20,000 commuters who depend on the PNR daily. And based on the comments on the DOTr’s post, it seems that the buses won’t be enough to meet the transport needs—especially those of students commuting to Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Santa Mesa.

Hopefully, the DOTr will listen to the concerns so it can better serve the commuting public.

Leandro Mangubat

Leandro is our staff writer. Although having a background in mechanical engineering, he enjoys photography and writing more.