PNR incurs P30M losses, operations in limbo
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Railways (PNR) failed to resume the operation of the Metro Commuter Train service from Tutuban in Manila to Calamba in Laguna Monday, June 15, as losses mounted to P30 million ($663,854.89) since it suspended service on May 5.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya told reporters after inspecting the rail tracks in the Paco station that the mass transit system would only resume operations once a certification from TÜV Rheinland is issued in two weeks’ time.
“We won’t operate if there is risk to passengers. We would rather have a safe train than try to please the passengers,” Abaya said.
The Department of Transportation and Communications wanted to resume the Metro Commuter Train operations Monday. PNR service was suspended indefinitely after an accident on April 29 that injured about 50 passengers.
The PNR is losing close to P800,000 ($17,694.48) per day due to the suspension of the train service. PNR services at least 70,000 commuters a day from the Laguna area.
Investigation points to pilfered parts of the rail tracks as the cause of the accident.
Abaya said the government is installing anti-theft measures to prevent the pilferage of the rail tracks.
The government is bidding out the P144.38-million ($3.19 million) rail track improvement of the PNR to revive Southeast Asia’s oldest railway system.
The project will add a second track to run parallel to the single track currently connecting the Sucat and Alabang stations.
PNR has also allocated P192.87 million ($4.27 million) for station development and station yard fencing of the Metro South commuter line. – Rappler.com
$1 = P45.21