Press Release
June 23, 2015

Villar proposes to form volunteer groups to deal with railway trash

Sen. Cynthia A. Villar proposed the formation of volunteer groups to help solve the garbage problem after seeing the collection of solid wastes near the Philippine National Railways (PNR) tracks.

PNR General Manager Joseph Allan Dilay has told Villar during the test run of the Commuter Train service from Tutuban Station to Buendia Station last Friday that garbage continues to be a problem despite clean-up operations conducted in the area.

"We should seek the help of local government units to form volunteer groups that can lead clean up drives and to keep watch over railway tracks near inhabited areas," Villar said.

"The strict implementation of city ordinances against illegal garbage disposal should also take effect. This is important not only to keep our railways clean, but also to prevent diseases brought about by poor sanitation," she added.

Villar offered to talk to the local governments of Taguig, Paranaque, and Muntinlupa for measures to help solve the garbage problem.

Villar, chair of the Senate Committee on Government Owned Corporations and Public Enterprises and principal sponsor of the law extending the charter of PNR up to 2065, also welcomed Dilay's announcement that PNR will resume Tutuban to Laguna trips by end of June.

"Marami nang lumalapit sa atin na mga estudyante, lalo na iyong mga nag-aaral sa PUP, nagtatanong kung kailan tatakbo uli ang tren. Napapamahal kasi ang pamasahe nila ngayong suspendido ang tren," she said.

The Nacionalista Party senator noted that some 100,000 commuters are affected when PNR stopped providing about 60 trips from Tutuban, Manila to Calamba, Laguna. PNR suspended its operations when two coaches derailed near Magallanes Station last April 29, causing injuries to 80 passengers.

Villar said she joined the test run last Friday to personally see the improvement and actions taken by PNR officials to guarantee the safety of its passengers before the resumption of operations.

She also noted that a safety certificate issued by the third party consultant, TUV Rheinland USA, is needed before the trips can resume.

"I am a believer of trains. It is the most efficient and the cheapest mode of transportation, which our people in the lowest income bracket can afford. Compared to buses which charge P2 fare per kilometer, a PNR train ride only costs 70 centavos per kilometer," Villar said.

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