MANILA, Philippines — Presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has vowed to revive the “Bicol Express” train system, saying it would be among his priority projects should he win in the May 9 elections.
Marcos Jr. said the term ‘Bicol Express’—which was once known as the train system connecting Manila and the Bicol region—is now more famous as a dish popular in the region.
“Ibabalik natin ang ‘Bicol Express’ ng higit na maayos at epektibo sa panahon ng ating panunungkulan,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
(We will revive the Bicol Express in a more efficient way under our incumbency.)
He pointed out the deterioration that Bicol Express suffered through the years, such as when calamities hit Bicol.
In 2006, the route was suspended following the onslaught of typhoons Milenyo and Reming. The route was eventually re-opened in 2011.
Marcos Jr. said the railway system’s rehabilitation will be in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Build-Build-Build program.
He also added that he would be open to negotiations with large corporations willing to finance the train system’s restoration through the Public-Private Partnership program.
“Hindi naman siguro tayo nakakalimot na ang tren na biyaheng Bicol ay hindi lang nagbigay ng malaking kaginhawaan kundi nagdulot din ito ng malalim na kasiyahan sa ating mga kababayang Bikolano,” he said.
“Ibalik natin ito pero mas pagandahin pa natin at pabilisin upang magsilbing pangunahing transportasyon ng mga Bicolano at mga dayuhang turista na naaakit sa ganda ng bayang ito,” he added. – Jericho Zafra, trainee