Senators JV Ejercito and Bam Aquino IV asked the government to upgrade and modernize the 50-year-old Philippine National Railways (PNR).
The PNR recently decided to suspend its operations following last week’s derailment incident, which injured at least 80 passengers.
“Kung naniniwala ang gobyerno na kailangang paunlarin ang mass transport system sa bansa, walang ibang daan ito kundi ang pagsasaayos ng isang moderno, cost-efficient, environmentally-friendly at economically-sustainable na railway system,” said Ejercito.
The senator filed Senate Bill No. 2690, seeking to increase the transportation system’s authorized capital stock from P25 million to P50 million.
His proposal will allow the PNR to enter into a joint venture with a private sector partnership to help in its efficient operation and maintenance.
Estrada also said that fixing the tracks and increasing fare rates won’t improve PNR’s services.
“Kailangan natin ng bago, modernisado at mabibilis na mga tren, makabagong pasilidad at railway system na tutugon sa nais nating pag-unlad hindi lamang sa mga lungsod kundi sa mga probinsya,” he said.
Aquino urged the government to hasten the rehabilitation of the railway lines.
He also appealed to public not to steal rail materials as it might lead to accidents.
“Kailangang bilis-bilisan po ng gobyerno but on the other hand, ang taumbayan gawin ang kanilang parte at huwag po sanang nakawin,” said the young senator./PN