"AN ACT CONSOLIDATING THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS AND THE LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT AUTHORITY INTO THE NATIONAL RAILWAY AUTHORITY TO INTEGRATE AND REVITALIZE RAILWAY TRANSPORTATION IN THE PHILIPPINES, AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS THEREFOR TO BUILD AN ADEQUATE AND EFFICIENT NATIONAL RAILWAY TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES"
Introduced by Senator Richard J. Gordon
It is essential to facilitate transportation for both people and goods within the three major islands of the country to ensure the growth and development of the Philippine economy. An adequate and efficient national railway system will successfully provide this means of transportation. Building a national railway system is a big challenge and an ambitious project, the magnitude of which poses many unanswered questions regarding logistics, but every sensible Filipino citizen should desire its completion.
To invest money and time in the railway would be risky beyond anything ever before attempted, but when, and if, it is completed, it would link the country, forever changing the nature of the nation's politics and economy, while bringing great profits to the people who build and own the railway and develop collateral properties along its tracks.
Essential railway transportation in the Philippines is supposed to be operated over railroad properties which were acquired for public use, but which have been permitted to deteriorate, thus requiring extensive rehabilitation and modernization. There is a need to revive railway transportation in the country as it offers economic and environmental advantages with respect to land use, air pollution, noise levels, energy efficiency and conservation, resource allocation, safety, and cost to such extent that the development of adequate and efficient railway transportation is of national interest.
This bill proposes to lay the foundation that will spur the necessary reforms in railway transportation by a new institutional structure and regulatory framework. These reforms will foster a climate that encourages more local government and private sector participation in the development of a national railway transportation system. One of the key reforms that this bill calls for is to raise funds through the issuance of bonds, hence, encouraging the active participation of the people to build the railway. Though there are individual citizens whose interests might be temporarily affected by the construction of the railway system, it is of paramount importance that our citizens make way for the short-term inconvenience brought about by its construction for the sake of the long-term gain of devolving development from the urban centers to the rural communities.