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    Several PNR trains damaged by stone-throwing incidents in December

    MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Railways (PNR) added six new diesel multiple unit (DMU) railcars that started operating on Monday, December 16. This added 18 to 20 more trips daily along the Tutuban to FTI and Malabon to FTI routes. But just days after the new trains began operating along this line, several units already sustained damages from various stone-throwing incidents that angered PNR management.

    Several PNR trains damaged by stone-throwing incidents in December

    Several PNR trains damaged by stone-throwing incidents in December
    Photo credit: GMA News

    At least 14 incidents have been reported from December 2 to 21, with most of the damage coming from the stones thrown on the windows of the trains. Most of the culprits remain at large and unidentified, mostly because they were too far away from the trains to be easily recognizable but were still able to inflict much damage to the trains. Moreover, the passengers were caught by surprise; thus, no one was able to take photos or videos of the culprits in most of the incidents.

    Several PNR trains damaged by stone-throwing incidents in December
    Photo credit: GMA News

    “Mahirap kasing manghuli o mag-identify noong sa stoning incidents kasi naglalakbay ‘yung tren. And then usually 'yung mga tao, nagtatago sila,” explained PNR OIC spokesperson Crissy Ecalnea after an incident on December 20 in Barangay Canlalay in Biñan, Laguna.

    Several PNR trains damaged by stone-throwing incidents in December
    Photo credit: GMA News

    The suspect remains at large in that incident.

    In another incident, a teenage culprit was actually caught; however, because he is a minor, no charges were filed against him. He was subsequently released to his parents who were asked to discipline him.

    “Wala ring maibigay na magandang dahilan kasi minsan, isang katuwaan. Pinagsabihan ‘yung magulang na pagsabihan yung anak,” Ecalnea revealed.

    Several PNR trains damaged by stone-throwing incidents in December
    Photo credit: News 5 / Facebook

    On December 28, another train nearly sustained damage due to a used tire, cut GI sheets, and sharpened bamboo stake placed along its track. Aside from this, there have also been a lot of incidents wherein trash was thrown on the trains.

    The new units from Indonesia form two train sets that aim to serve an additional 13,500 passengers daily. This boosted the PNR's daily capacity from 60,000 to 73,500 passengers, but a lot of people are growing more concerned about the safety of passengers due to these incidents.

    Several PNR trains damaged by stone-throwing incidents in December
    Photo credit: News 5 / Facebook

    There’s a proposed bill in Congress that criminalizes any act that disrupts or sabotages train operations. But while waiting for that to become a law, the PNR management make the culprits pay for the cost of repairs on the trains they damaged. The added challenge there is identifying who these people are.

    The PNR was forced to put mesh wires on the windows of several trains to protect the passengers.

    “Security ng mananakay yung number one na issue namin diyan. Pag nabato siya, may tendency siya na 'yung mga bubog o 'yung glass niya, mag-shatter doon sa mga tao, tamaan 'yung mga tao. So isa ‘yon sa added layer na ginagawa natin temporarily,” Ecalnea explained.

    She urged people to support PNR and help protect the trains, adding that the basic solution to this perennial problem is discipline.

    “Ito pong lahat ng tren na nakikita ‘nyo ay pagmamay-ari ‘nyo, pagmamay-ari natin. Sana po ingatan para makapagserbisyo pa sila nang mahabang panahon. Ito po ay para matulungan natin i-ease yung traffic, makapagdala tayo ng mga tao sa iba’t ibang lugar sa mas maliit na halaga, maigsing panahon. At saka mas mura 'yung pamasahe,” she added.

    — Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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