NAGA CITY: The Philippine National Railways (PNR) shall not give assistance to persons who commit suicide by train.
“We are not tolerating the acts of desperate people who commit suicidal acts on railroad tracks and later the family would ask for burial assistance from the PNR,” said Constancio Toledano Jr, who is division manager of the PNR Transportation Department covering tracks from Legazpi City to Tagkawayan, Quezon.
Toledano was reacting to a reported incident of suicide in Sugcad, Polangui, Albay where a 17 year-old male, Joseph Cirillo, who had laid down purposely in the railroad track instantly died when a passing train ran over him.
The PNR, however, has a different policy regarding accidental deaths involving its trains.
Toledano said that with rising incidence of accidental deaths along PNR tracks, the PNR Board of Directors has already issued resolutions to assist the victims in the amount of P10,000 pesos each victim - a substantial increase from about P2,000 in the previous years.
PNR manager Junio Ragragio earlier said that the PNR prefers to maintain its “humanist policy” towards victims of accidental deaths and injuries on the railroads, although the law absolves PNR from liabilities on mishaps along the railroad tracks “since the railroad is part of the train system and should not be used publicly by any means”.
According to Toledano, there have been 20 deaths along rail-tracks this year.
The PNR Board earlier issued resolutions to give financial assistance to the families of five who died and three who were injured when a tricycle collided with a train in Iriga City in June this year.
Financial assistance were also given to a 70-year-old woman who was side-swept near the tracks in Pili town in July, and another 17 and 18 year-old teenagers who died at the tracks in Mambulo Nuevo in Pamplona town - all in Camarines Sur province.
Toledano also said that until now most local government units (LGU) have not formally signed any memorandum of agreement with the PNR on the maintenance of recognized railroad crossings.
Only Naga and Iriga cities have installed safety devices in major train crossings in their localities.
Manager Ragragio earlier created the PNR Level-crossing task force designed to formalize cooperation between the PNR and local governments in maintaining railroad crossings in South Luzon. – GoBicol