The Department of Transportation (DOTr) held its Weekly Economic Briefing at Malacañang earlier today to discuss status updates regarding ongoing infrastructure projects, particularly those under the jurisdiction of the Philippine National Railways (PNR).
PNR general manager Junn Magno said during the briefing that the company is planning to extend the current Calamba-Malabon route all the way to Valenzuela by the end of this year. “We are planning to extend the service, dahil nga doon sa traffic issues na lumabas kahapon, baka buksan namin all the way to Valenzuela.”
“We need to build one bridge between Valenzuela and Malabon, so we can extend service all the way to Malabon. So from Valenzuela to Dela Rosa in Makati, will just take 55 minutes from the usual three hours,” Magno added.
Magno mentioned that the company is still assessing the current situation to determine if the construction of the bridge across Tullahan River will be feasible.
“Malabon and Valenzuela is separated by a body of water, ’yung Tullahan river. We used to have an old bridge diyan, kaso lang sinira ’yan dahil ginawa ’yung Segment 10 at ’yung old North Rail project. Since gagawa kami ng NSCR [North-South Commuter Railway] project, naghahanap kami ng space na saan namin idu-dugtong sa Valenzuela, so we could reopen service between Valenzuela and Makati man lang at least.”
What the PNR sees as the problem is that commuters from Valenzuela take other modes of public transport all the way to the Governor Pascual station in Malabon to ride the train all the way to Makati. As it aims to connect Valenzuela and Malabon via a bridge, it also plans to increase the number of trains to address the expected rise in demand.
When asked when the bridge will be built, Magno says that they are aiming to commence operations by the end of the year, and the actual construction will take 30-45 days to complete.
“At least by the end of the year ’yun ang plano namin. Ang issue lang namin, because we transferred technical control doon sa alignment namin in the north with our consultants, siyempre hihingi kami ng technical pass if we could undertake such work na maidugtong namin ang tulay na ’yon. But we are studying it now tapos we’re aligning the budget to procure that bridge,” Magno added.
No matter how you look at it, a 55-minute trip between Valenzuela and Makati does seem pretty sweet. What do you think?