PNR says talks for China-backed South Long Haul underway

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2023 03:41 PM

MANILA — The Philippine government has resumed negotiations with China on the construction of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long Haul Project (North-South Commuter Railway), an official said on Tuesday. 

PNR General Manager Jeremy Regino said the government has already written to China Export-Import Bank to continue the negotiations. 

"In the meantime, tuluy-tuloy ang pag-aaral po natin, pag-conduct ng feasibility studies at saka technical details including right-of-way acquisition para hindi po maantala ang pagsasagawa at pagkukumpleto po ng South Long Haul," Regino said during a televised briefing. 

Regino said the southern route of the North-South Commuter Railway will begin in Calamba and end in Matnog, Sorsogon. This will include Naga and Legazpi, he added. 

"Habang isinasagawa po natin dito iyong proyekto na inutang po natin sa China, mayroon tayong lumang linya, ang Calamba hanggang Legazpi," he said. 

Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista earlier noted that the railway, along with other projects, was stalled because China wants to charge an interest rate of 3 percent for the loans. 

The previous administration believed it was too costly.

Video from PTV