Reforms cut down PNR expenditures by almost 50%

MANILA -- The Philippine National Railways (PNR) reported that its operating expenses have been reduced by almost half in 2018.

PNR General Manager Junn Magno credited the significant decrease, from PHP771 million in 2017 to PHP395 million last year, to the transformation initiative of the government under President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

"PNR is embarking on transformation, we cannot absorb all these changes without embarking on the internal transformation being a 125-year old corporation and we survived as a culture-based company,” Magno said in the weekly economic briefing in MalacaƱang on Wednesday.

“With all these new developments, we need to transform ourselves to become an innovation-based competency corporation and as a GOCC (government-owned and controlled corporation)," he added.

Magno also noted the improving financial stability of PNR, with its rail revenues increasing by 6 percent from PHP239 million to PHP255 million in 2018, while its non-rail revenues increased by 9 percent from PHP159 million to PHP174 million.

"We streamlined the logistical processes: buying the diesel, obtaining security and all the stuff. Medyo na-improve namin iyong (We somehow improved the) efficiency," he said.

Magno said this transformation also resulted in more passengers being serviced by their trains.

"Operational-wise, when we came in to power, we only serve 28,000 passengers per day in the South Corridor. In 2017, we increased it to 45,000. Right now, we are serving 65,000 per day," he said.

Magno said the nine new trains that the PNR bought from Indonesia will arrive by December this year.

He said the PNR wanted to increase the reliability of its trains to about 90 percent.

"With the rolling stock: we have 11, we used to have 14, but our reliability when we came in, was as low as 28 percent, we were able to increase it to 54 by end of the year. We want to increase our reliability as high as 90 percent -- the same with MRT 3," he said.

Recently, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approved the PHP211.42-billion PNR North 2 (Malolos-Clark Airport-Clark Green City Rail) project; the PHP175.32-billion PNR South Long Haul (Manila-Bicol); and, the PHP124.14-billion PNR South Commuter Line (Tutuban-Los Banos).

“We have three main thrusts: revitalization, transformation and the horizon,” Magno said. (PNA)