House panel approves creation of railway regulating body

MANILA A measure seeking the creation of a Philippine National Railway System that would be responsible for the regulation of the country's train systems hurdled committee level at the House of Representatives.

The House committees on government enterprises, legislative franchise, and transportation jointly approved on Wednesday an unnumbered substitute bill proposing the creation of a national railway regulator in all aspects of the operations of railway corporations.

The bill mandates the establishment of three government corporations to operate in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The said corporations shall have a 50-year term and have an authorized capital stock of PHP30 billion each.

The bill requires railway operators to secure a legislative franchise from Congress.

It also seeks to penalize acts harmful to the sustainability and safety of trains, tracks, equipment and other assets, including the safety and security of the riding public.

The committee members proposed an amendment to the qualifications of the PNRA Administrator to include professional experience specific to public and railway transportation.

Other qualifications required in the bill include 35 years of age, good moral character, and recognized executive ability and competence in transportation, business administration, management, finance, or law.

Source: Philippine News Agency