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5-year pause in PNR operations may begin in May —exec

The Philippine National Railways (PNR) may start its five-year halt of operations by May, PNR general manager Jeremy Regino said on Tuesday.

"Most probably po by May. Ang una pong hihinto ay ang Alabang papuntang Calamba. At pagdating naman po ng Oktubre ay hihinto naman po ang Tutuban to Bicutan or Tutuban to Alabang at Governor Pascual from Malabon hanggang Tutuban," said Regino during a televised public briefing.

(Most probably by May, the first segment that will be closed is from Alabang Station to Calamba Station. In October, we may close Tutuban to Bicutan or Tutuban to Alabang and Governor Pascual from Malabon to Tutuban.)

Regino, meanwhile, said that the dates for the pause in operations may still be moved. 

"Ang meron lamang po tayo ngayon ay mga indicative time slots (What we only have now are indicative time slots)." 

The PNR operations will be temporarily stopped to give way to the construction of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project.

The PNR's temporary closure is expected to affect around 30,000 commuters.

Regino said they are working on alternative modes of transportation with the help of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and local governments.

LTFRB Tech Division head Joel Bolano earlier said jeepneys and buses will be used to augment the transportation needs of affected commuters. —VAL, GMA Integrated News