Press Release
March 12, 2015

Senator JV Ejercito files SB No. 2690 or the PNR Modernization Act

SENATOR Joseph Victor G. Ejercito has filed yesterday the Senate Bill No. 2690 or the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Modernization Act.

The proposed bill aims to amend certain provisions of Republic Act No. 4156 or the PNR Charter which will institutionalize the revitalization, rehabilitation and modernization of the Philippine National Railways.

Senator Ejercito said that while the PNR's corporate life was extended for another 50 years on June 16, 2014, it continues to run a "loss leader" operation that the more trips the train runs, the more losses it incur. He said that this can be attributed to its purely manual operations as well as its aged and obsolete train system equipment and facilities, resulting to poor operating potentials and high leakage rate.

The senator cited that for the first half of 2014, PNR suffered a cash deficit of Php 85,464,170.00 which translated to a monthly loss of Php 13,244,028.00 while transporting 12,240,498 passengers on its Tutuban to Sta. Rosa/Mamatic commuter line and Naga/Sipocot Commuter Line.

The bill also adopted the 8-point proposed amendment of the PNR Charter as enunciated in Board resolution no. 065-2014:

  • To increase the authorized capital stock to Php 50 Billion.

  • That all loans, credits, and indebtedness contracted by the PNR in local currency are to be guaranteed unconditionally by the ROP (Republic of the Philippines);

  • To allow the PNR to enter into a Joint venture with qualified private sector partner that will provide the operation & maintenance;

  • Reaffirmation of the PNR's tax exemption;

  • To allow the PNR's established sinking fund to be used for the development of tracks and new railway routes;

  • To amend the allowable term of the General manager to 6 years.;

  • For the PNR to be granted the power and authority to deputize/obligate LGU's to enforce and implement the restoration of PNR's right of way;

  • To strengthen the PNR's charter by inclusion of a provision that penalizes criminally and/or civilly any person/s that will cause interference with the train's free flow;

Senator JV Ejercito is the chairman of the Committee on Public Services, sub-committee on Transportation and an advocate of mass transportation in the country. Earlier, he filed together with other lawmakers, labor and partylist groups a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) fare hike.

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