ILOILO CITY – The Panay Railway Inc. (PRI) will open to interested bidders the P16 billion railway project next month, according to PRI officer-in-charge Capt. Cesar Capillan.
Capillan said that the PRI board is yet to meet and set the date of the bidding after getting an approval for the project’s revival from the Regional Development Council (RDC) recently.
The officer-in-charge said that to date they have already received unsolicited letter of interest to join the project from Korea, China and Europe.
The Phase I of the P16 billion project will cover the rehabilitation of the railway system from Iloilo City to Roxas City in Capiz with a stretch of 117 kilometers.
A route will be opened from Ungka, Jaro leading to the new Iloilo airport in Cabatuan-Sta. Barbara likewise from Ungka, Jaro to Loboc International Port to cater to tourists and cargoes, respectively.
Its main terminals will be situated in Jaro district, Passi City, Dao and Lauan in Capiz while the secondary terminals will be at Sta. Barbara, New Lucena, Pototan, Duenas towns, all in Iloilo and Dumarao in Capiz.
These are the areas, according to Capillan, where the train will stop for around 10 minutes to load and unload passengers.
With the opening of the railway system, it is expected that travel time from this city to Roxas City in Capiz will be shortened to 70 minutes more than one half of the travel period using other means of transportation.
The new railway system is better than the previous one because it will be using a combination of locomotive engine with the backup of an electric motor, he added.
It will have air-conditioned coaches that can accommodate 200 passengers per coach.
The revival of the railway system will be under through the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme with the government through the PRI making available its assets to the private sector which will be the one to finance the project.