​VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Report claiming PNR Bicol Express has reopened MISLEADING

A story bearing a false headline that says Bicol Express, the Philippine National Railways (PNR)’s Manila to Bicol commuter line, has resumed operations is circulating on the Web.

Website netizensalert.sk published on Oct. 3 the misleading report, which carried the headline “BICOL EXPRESS binuksan muli ng (reopened by) PNR.” It talked about the opening of PNR’s Main Line South (MLS), which runs from Manila to Iriga City, Camarines Sur in the Bicol Region.


The MLS has only been opened to receive the transfer of “rolling stock material,” or railway vehicles, according to a Sept. 24 press release from the Department of Transportation (DOTr).


The announcement comes after DOTr and PNR concluded on Sept. 23 its inspection of MLS, whose route covers Tutuban, Manila; San Pablo, Laguna; Lucena City, Quezon Province; and Sipocot, Naga City and Iriga City in Camarines Sur.

There have been no announcements on the opening of commuter lines that will run this route. Bicol Express is one of two train lines that previously ran from Manila to Naga, but it ceased operations in 2016 due to damage and neglect of its bridges and rails.

PNR currently operates from Tutuban, Manila to Calamba, Laguna; and from Tagkawayan, Quezon province to Ligao City in Albay.

Netizensalert.sk’s misleading story has received over 22,909 reactions; 1,740 comments; and 3,341 shares. Netizensalert.sk has been publishing stories since July.

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